Q: Why are Iowa men’s basketball games not on TV?
— Kevin, Davenport
A: Kevin, many Hawkeyes fans share your angst. Of Iowa’s first nine men’s basketball games, just two were easily found on your Mediacom standard cable lineup (Creighton, on Big Ten Network, and IPFW, on MC22). Even the ACC-Big Ten game against Clemson was relegated to ESPNU, which usually is part of digital packages at additional cost. The swift expansion of the BTN has led to more televised games around the 12-team conference, but five home games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena were shown live exclusively online at BTN.com, and of greater note, last week’s rivalry game at Northern Iowa was only televised on the Panther Sports Network, not available in the Quad-Cities.
Here’s the good news: Saturday’s game against Drake is on BTN, and Mediacom is carrying Central Arkansas and Boise State games the next week. Then of Iowa’s 18 Big Ten contests, 12 are scheduled for BTN telecasts — with the Feb. 19 date vs. Indiana a candidate to get picked up by CBS — and ESPN will show the Feb. 23 game against Wisconsin.
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery spoke last Thursday on the subject: “You want exposure in the state, but we want exposure nationally as well. That’s what the Big Ten Network is. Obviously, we were not pleased at all with our TV schedule. But the reality is, we’ve got to play better. That’s just a fact. As we do that, we’ll get more games on the Big Ten Network, we’ll have more opportunities to play on ESPN and the major networks.”
Q: Slattery Park in Davenport has become a very busy place. When are they getting rid of the portable toilet for a more permanent structure?
— Sharon, Davenport
A: Seve Ghose, director of the Davenport Parks and Recreation Department, said Slattery Park was a point of discussion during the recent series of parks and recreation public meetings and internal staff meetings, specifically the need for a permanent restroom due to the heavy use of the neighborhood park.
By spring 2012, a “green” toilet will be installed in the park. A green toilet is low-maintenance, with no water or sewer hookup and powered by solar energy. It will be the same as the one installed at Sunderbruch Park last year, which has been well-received, Ghose said.
The 11.6-acre park at Northwest Boulevard and West 46th Street was named after former parks department director Richard J. Slattery. The neighborhood park got an overhaul in 2006 to add walkways, a new playground, new shelter and picnic tables and a new drinking fountain.
Q: My son-in-law is in the Army, and I want to know where I can get a birthday card and Christmas card for a military person.
— Jeannie, Davenport
A: We’ve seen military-themed birthday cards in the card sections of local stores on occasion. Hallmark stores in the Quad-Cities report they have a few Christmas cards for veterans or active-duty service members, but not a special section, per se. Another option is to look online. Search under “military greeting cards” and quite a few websites will come up for you, some of them offering free cards or cards that can be printed or emailed.
(Answers provided by Times sports reporter Aaron Brenner, the city of Davenport and Times community editor Linda Watson.)