Gahan’s beloved low head dam: “A very elegant trap for human beings”

The Green Mouse says that Mayor Jeff Gahan and his Reisz Mahal acolytes intend to file a lawsuit to delay or even terminate the Origin Park plan to remove a low head dam on Silver Creek.
There are stated (read: contrived) reasons, of course, but I think by this point we all understand that the primary motivations for Gahan’s opposition to Origin Park are vanity and pique; it’s the impossibility of him branding Origin Park in his own Wile E. Image.
The best guess is that he wants the kayak/canoe concession on NA’s side of the creek, where he spent too many taxpayer dollars for a fishing hole, presumably capable of being upgraded to “Jeff’s Crab Shack,” presumably via yet another no-bid HWC Engineering contract.
Here’s the problem with Gahan’s most recent self-aggrandizing obsession: “Low-lying dams drown hundreds of victims.” That’s right. He’s putting his political capital and YOUR money on a outmoded, discredited and dangerous concept … and, as usual, it’s all about the appearance of the water course after low head dam removal, not the functionality.


These walls of concrete, called low-head dams for their minimal profile, outlasted their original purpose long ago. Today, they are better known for creating the type of wide, smooth waterway that invites city planners to turn an urban river into rustic recreational space.

But beneath the seemingly gentle cascades and quiet rumble, the dams hide a sinister secret: They have dragged hundreds of unsuspecting swimmers and boaters into their churning waters and drowned them, sometimes within sight of busy sidewalks and cafes.

“The builders of these dams have created a very elegant trap for human beings,” said Nate Hoogeveen, who heads river programs for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Once people go over the dam, it’s impossible to climb out.”

You know, just like a sharrow sign painted on the street. it looks pretty, and it accomplishes nothing apart from quite possibly making the street more dangerous for a bicyclist.
If you fancy yourself a “progressive” Democrat, and you’re sanctioning this latest instance of City Hall’s purely regressive governing defaults, it’s way past time for some mirror-gazing.
Because: “What you permit, you promote. What you allow, you encourage. What you condone, you own. What you tolerate, you deserve.”
Just because our local Democratic Party elites mouth non-binding cliches about social justice issues is no reason to allow them to continue with purely regressive day-to-day municipal operations without questioning.
You know straight up and flat out that Origin Park is a good idea, so why isn’t the city eager to join the effort, as opposed to trashing it? How is it that your mouths are clamped shut as our emperor sans clothing keeps attacking this progressive ideal? He’s not only making himself look ridiculous, but he’s taking YOU down into the Ohio River mud with him.
During the past few years, I kept hearing Democrats demanding to know when Republicans would detach themselves from the despot. To those same Democrats, I’d frame the question a bit differently.
And yes, by making my thoughts public, I’m entailing a degree of risk. City Hall’s retaliatory tendencies have been exhaustively documented. I’m sticking to my vow of non-engagement more than 90% of the time. But every now and then, things need to be said.