Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/816064

Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 28, 2014

Lost bird sculpture back with its artist

By JEFF WILSON, Ledger publisher | Apr 26, 2012

“They got their bird back,” said Fairfield Police Chief Julie Harvey Monday night as I walked into the Fairfield City Council meeting.

Monday was a scramble at The Ledger and for a few, quick moments I didn’t know what she was referring to. Then she mentioned the police auction and the front-page picture of the bird sculpture.

Less than 24 hours after the picture of the lost item was in The Ledger, the artist and owner of the sculpture valued at $1,500, claimed the artwork. I like happy endings.

There was no word yet on the pictured lost ring also valued at $1,500. The almost annual police auction of lost, abandoned and unclaimed items seized in search warrants will be May 10.

Items for auction include lost bicycles, tools and a 1999 Ford Taurus, formerly used as an unmarked police car.

Mayor Ed Malloy did the swearing in duties for new police officer Tanner Lavely. The young guy looked younger than his years, but as I get older that’s commonplace.

A few months ago, the city still photocopied a packet of paperwork for city council members and the media. Former Ledger reporter Lacey Jacobs forgot to tell me that packet is no longer waiting at the media table. More changes to get used to.

She later sent a text message reminding me the city posted the information online. She had been printing out the copies she needed. City council members are using i-Pads and doing away with hundreds of sheets of copy paper every meeting.

After getting thrown for a loop by all the street work talk and construction bid approval, I tried to make sense of the city $40 permit fee for downtown event vendors. The council discussed and tweaked the regulations.

City council member Connie Boyer asked about an exemption for the non-profit groups who sell popcorn, lemonade and ice-cream sundaes at the city band concerts on Tuesday nights during the summer.

A $40 permit might put an end to those little fundraisers that add to the small-town, summer evening atmosphere. That’s a shame.

No one really responded to Boyer’s suggestion. And Malloy tossed out a statement that was more of a question, “So the band concerts are not excluded in any way?” Again, no response.

I ran into Boyer on Wednesday and we both wondered what happened.

Bob Gamrath called The Ledger Wednesday to inform us about the death of former resident Quentin Bates, who settled in Washington, D.C. after a long career as a U.S. agricultural attaché in Europe, the Phillipines and South America.

I couldn’t find Bates’ obituary information online. I went to The Ledger files this morning and Bates had a thick packet of clips and pictures.

After graduating from Fairfield High School in 1935 and Parsons College in 1940, and active service in World War II, he embarked on a long career in foreign agriculture service for the government.

Gamrath said he corresponded with Bates for a very long time after he left Fairfield.

“He was one of the brightest people I’ve known coming out of Fairfield,” said Gamrath.

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