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Columnists

The true cost of a disaster

In the coming months, we will start talking about the expenses the city has incurred as part of our clean-up resulting from the derecho on Aug. 10. The debris removal costs from the tornado were around $1.3 million, and we anticipate that this disaster will have us well above this figure when ...

Which of your children would you lose for $12 million?

“We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal.’” — Martin Luther King In other words, what is legal is not necessarily what is right. With that in mind, I find myself struggling to imagine what justice for Breonna Taylor would have looked like. ...

Supporting student technology and internet access in unprecedented times

Access to a high-quality public education is among the greatest resources we can provide to young people, and in today’s rapidly changing world — especially with the ongoing pandemic — technology and internet access is vital to providing students a first-rate public education.   In ...

Danville couple saves old barn

You may have noticed the big, beautiful, red barn beside the highway. It’s just west of Danville, on the north side of Highway 34, across the tracks. It’s owned by Dale and Connie Glasgow who live in the farm house beside the barn. But the barn wasn’t always a pristine red barn. When ...

Democrats threaten to burn down the Republic to stack the Supreme Court

Last week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at the age of 87. Her death immediately initiated a political firestorm in Washington, D.C. — one that threatens the very integrity of the republic. That’s not because, as the media and Democrats would claim, some sort of ...

‘Principles’ shouldn’t be a matter of convenience

One of my co-workers at the Des Moines Register was Gene Raffensperger, an excellent reporter with a delicious sense of humor. When Raff was working on a dull story, he often would announce to colleagues, “We’re going to need another tanker of Murine. I’ve got an eye-burner ...

I’m still mad about COVID-19. We all should be.

Today, I attended online classes all day and then curled up with the new Bob Woodward book, Rage. Rage is what I feel about the mishandling of COVID that led to all of my classes being online. Relatively speaking, I’ve got it good. I am financially secure, and I’m not at high risk for ...

Life, still

Today was the day. Marked it on the kitchen wall calendar, which hangs next to the sink because we can always use a little more art in this joint, especially now. I poured a mug of coffee and sat in my favorite chair, the one by the window, which was cracked open to the 50-degree morning. The ...

What the Flint water crisis meant for my family

In 2015, my life fell apart. The first signs of trouble came from my son Jaylon. He was five years old and, although he struggled with ADHD, perfectly healthy. But then he started acting out in ways he never had before. His school didn’t know how to handle it, so they started suspending ...

The problem isn’t Netflix, it’s us

Netflix, the video streaming giant, is in hot water with at least some segments of the American public because of a French film it is currently showing called “Cuties” (“Mignonnes” in the original French). The film is about a group of 11-year-old girls in Paris who form a team to ...

Cyberbullying

With the school year now upon us, the police department will be seeing more and more complaints regarding harassment in general and cyberbullying specifically. Cyberbullying is bullying or harassment through the internet or other technologies such as social media sites or instant messaging ...

New bills offer opportunity to help Iowa dialysis patients

As fall approaches, the COVID-19 pandemic still poses a major threat to people living here in Iowa, as well as others across the U.S. With public health still top-of-mind, it is important that we do everything we can to protect high-risk patients, especially those living with end-stage renal ...

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

The food, the music, the work ethic, the passion — Hispanic-Americans have a lot to be proud of. When our ancestors immigrated to the United States, they brought with them the rich and vibrant heritage that we celebrate today. Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated annually Sept. 15 through Oct. ...

Ginnie’s excellent birthday

O n Aug. 27, the night before Ginnie’s birthday, the moon and Mars lined up side-by-side, announcing Ginnie’s grand and glorious birthday. Ginnie and I viewed it together, her eyes starry, wondering what I had in store for her big day. “Happy birthday, Ginnie!” the locust seemed to ...

Jeanette Catherine Kramer Vaske

Jeanette Catherine Kramer Vaske left this earth to be in the arms of her savior on September 15, 2020, with her family by her side. Family and friends will honor Jeanette with a visitation at St. Francis of Assisi Parish — St. Henry Catholic Church — 221 West Olive St. in Marshalltown — ...

Trump knew COVID-19 could kill. He just didn’t care.

“Captain,” said the first mate, “we just crashed into an iceberg — the hull’s been breached!” “An iceberg. Deadly stuff,” said the captain. “Still, let’s play it down.” “What are your orders? We must warn the passengers.” “I’ll make an announcement… ...

Raising empathetic children

Did you know that starting as early as age 6 months, babies can gauge your response to another person in the room or a particular situation? How you greet a neighbor or a stranger can tell your baby a lot. It’s called empathy. It’s more than just teaching your children to play nice with one ...

The Campaign is at knife’s edge

The presidential campaign is at knife’s edge. Both parties’ campaigns assume that patterns of support will closely resemble those in 2016. And both are making surprisingly little effort, considering how close that contest turned out to be, with the 46 crucial electoral votes decided by just ...

Another revelation, another layer of grief

Ilearned a lot about how to die from my mother, and long before I was holding her hand as she drew her last breath. After nearly two decades as a nurse’s aide, Mom became a hospice home-care worker. She took care of the dying, one patient at a time. She spent eight to 10 hours a day with ...

Killing someone is not like missing a golf putt

Trying to keep up with the stunningly inappropriate — and worse — remarks of Donald Trump can sometimes seem like a full-time job. But some of his most outrageous comments came in a recent Fox News interview about police violence. In an interview with right-wing media superstar Laura ...