Another View

Iowa’s privileged class: State-government employees

Public Interest Institute first published an article highlighting the Pay Gap between Iowa's private-sector workers and the state's government workers in 1996.Since that time, we have periodically revisited this topic, providing updates with the latest economic data on the average annual wages ...

Iowa Public Information Board

PUBLIC INTERESTAs Iowans we like to believe that we are open and honest for the most part, but our state government has been a little lacking concerning this area, which has caused problems down to the city and county level of government. We are hopeful that the legislation passed in 2012 and ...

Give change a chance

We are creatures of comfort and love predictability - change tends to make us uncomfortable. As my wife would say, she likes a "Calm Pond" - no waves and therefore no change. We tend to get into patterns of expectancy that we always want to be the same with calm water! We expect everything to ...

No appetite for fixing school lunches

You can lead a kid to vegetables, but you can't make her eat. Especially if the food doesn't taste good.That's what the government found out in the wake of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.I was active in advocating for school lunch reform at the time. The bill became law shortly after ...

Teacher leaders strengthen classroom instruction

Research shows a correlation between a school's ability to keep good teachers and student achievement. We want the best teachers in Iowa classrooms and are giving them the tools they need to help students succeed.We're rewarding effective teachers with more responsibility and higher pay, ...

Seeking suitable use for IJH facility

As the summer rolls on, the work toward finding resolution to the Iowa Juvenile Home (IJH) facility continues in earnest. An update on what is happening is in order.The legislative session ended with no action being taken by the legislature. The Senate had inserted language and funding into the ...

Sick Pig Problems

Rising prices aren't the only reason you should reconsider eating pork. A pound of bacon now costs more than $6. That's a record increase from $3.86 a pound four years ago.What's driving this spike?Blame Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus. The disease, known as PEDv, is rattling the pork industry ...

The decline of civic education and the liberal arts

Higher education faces many problems today, but one of the most serious problems is the decline in traditional liberal arts curriculum. This is especially true when examining the alarming crisis in civic education. Anne D. Neal, President of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), ...

Don’t let ‘Big Oil’ bully biofuels

It's vacation season across America. That means family road trips are under way and the traveling public is paying even closer attention when they pull up to the pump. America's road warriors have long cherished affordable gas prices. Today's drivers also value clean-burning fuel choices that ...

Creating jobs, growing Iowa’s economy with clean energy

Iowa is proof that clean energy works. We lead the nation in wind power generation and in biofuels production. We also rank among the top 12 states in the nation when it comes to energy efficiency.These successes have not come about by accident. Iowa is responding to the growing demand for ...

Iowa’s “Care Gap” meets the “Action Gap” 

Care Gap: According to the State's Direct Care Workforce Initiative, Iowa needs to fill 20,000 new direct care jobs by 2020 while retaining the 75,000 who currently work in direct care, the largest sector of Iowa's workforce. That is no easy feat with an average annual turnover rate of over ...

Improving FOIA

Earlier this year, the Veterans Affairs Administration denied the Tampa Tribune's Freedom of Information Act request for the names of VA hospitals where veterans died because of delays in medical screenings. To hide this information, the VA used the "pre-decisional" exemption, simply stating ...

Storms create emergencies across Iowa

Because of bad weather throughout June, the Governor has already proclaimed disaster emergencies in 48 counties, including Black Hawk. This proclamation allows state resources to be used to respond to and recover from the storms. Black Hawk is also among 25 counties in which the proclamation ...

Happy birthday, America

Celebrating the Fourth of July brings family, friends and neighbors together for backyard barbecues, pool parties and patriotic parades. It's also the time to reflect on the charter of freedom that immortalized our destiny for 238 years and counting.In the months leading up to America's ...

Iowa River falls, roads reopening

People continued to walk past the road closed sign on Highway 14 Thursday morning to see the Iowa River take over the lanes after it crested to 22.25 feet, however the water is rapidly decreasing.Kim Elder, Marshall County Emergency Management director, said the Iowa River lowered to 19.58 feet ...

Police need help identifying a man

Police are asking the public for help identifying a man who stole from a local store.The Marshalltown Police Department is asking the public for assistance to help identify a white male with short brown or dark colored hair, who wore a light colored shirt with dark trim and an Iowa State ...

Roundhouse roof replacement under way

There's no fear of heights here as workers on the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse renovation work on replacing the roof at the facility this week. Workers could be seen atop the roof tearing out materials.Rick Simpson, director of buildings and grounds with the district, said workers are ...

Another Little Free Library pops up

Vicki and Gene Oxley have a love a reading and hope to get others hooked on books.The pair are the latest to add a Little Free Library to their yard at 2011 Bailey Drive in Marshalltown. The box invites people to take a book or leave a book if they choose as a way to exchange books and keep ...

California city is latest immigration flashpoint

LOS ANGELES - When American flag-waving protesters forced busloads of migrants to leave Murrieta earlier this week, the Southern California city became the latest flashpoint in an intensifying immigration debate that could heat up even more as patriotism surges on the Fourth of July.The city's ...