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Columnists

Top 10 reasons to shop Marshalltown

The Chamber often shares messages about shopping locally during the holiday season, but we know the importantce of shopping locally year-round. Now, more than ever, we are asking the public to support our local businesses as they begin to re-open and recover from closures related to ...

Treasurer’s office working through COVID 19

COVID-19 has at a minimum been an inconvenience for us all and unfortunately has been tragic for some Marshall County citizens who have lost loved ones or have seen loved ones suffer from the virus. It certainly has turned our world upside-down on our basic routines in life. While some of the ...

Summer school to begin June 15

Summer school, or Bobcat University (BU), is going to look a lot different this summer. We are excited to share the new and improved BU with our students and their families. All programming will officially begin on June 15 and extend until July 31. After the school closure due to ...

Destroyed by lightening

There was an explosion, followed by a crackling. The hair on the back of my head stood up. I was in the basement, working on my laptop computer. My son, in the next room, hollered, “What was that?!” Lightening damage to the 2nd tallest Norway Spruce in Iowa. We went upstairs, where my ...

The controlled burn rages out of control

In the wake of riots that have spread across America, leaving shattered businesses and wounded communities in their wake, it feels as though our nation is collapsing around us. That’s bizarre, considering that virtually all Americans agree with the following two propositions: first, that it ...

A tale of two Americas

As protests and riots spread like wildfire across the nation in response to the death of George Floyd and other black people at the hands of white police officers, I cannot help but recall an old African Proverb: “The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its ...

We need a public option for banking

The COVID-19 pandemic response has shown that the very foundations of our economy are shaky, fragile, and — for some of us — downright dangerous. We’re once again watching working people, especially working people of color, bear the brunt of the fallout. Meanwhile, big companies traded ...

Here we are again, this time in Minneapolis

And so here we are again. Another black man, unarmed and defenseless, is dead at the hands of a white police officer. This time it was in Minneapolis, where excessive force complaints against its police officers are all-too-common, especially by black residents. This time, it was ...

Lack of vote-integrity measures disenfranchises voters

The political impact of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be as unpredictable as the virus itself, and as potentially monumental as the financial losses it has caused. Although the November election is still almost five months away, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading the charge for states to ...

What to expect from the city in 2020

While 2020 will be remembered as the year of the pandemic, I am encouraging Marshalltown residents to remember it as the year of rebuilding. I do not need to say how much damage the tornado did or how many residents and business owners have had to plod through insurance and finding a contractor ...

With the death toll mounting, Trump keeps tweeting

Always before, there have been words. Always before, someone crafted them with writerly skill and gave them to the president to give to us. Always, before. When seven people died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, President Ronald Reagan spoke of how, just that morning, they “waved ...

It’s absolutely not time to cut food stamps

In some ways, this horrible pandemic has brought out the best in humanity. Where I live, neighbors are helping neighbors. A friend who cleans houses for a living says about half of her clients are no longer having their homes cleaned, but they are still paying her. I hate what’s happening ...

Pallet shed he shed

Leave it to an artist. Artists usually have many talents, not just one art form. Creative minds are not limited to a single genre. Such is the case with 61-year old Steve Helling, of West Point. He has a degree in art from Iowa Wesleyan College (now University), and has painted some pretty ...

Making the world a worse place, one Twitter mob at a time

Life is filled with nuance, with complexity. Take, for example, the case of Amy Cooper. Cooper is a 41-year-old white woman who worked at Franklin Templeton, an asset management firm. She was walking her dog without a leash in the Ramble section of Central Park when she was confronted by a ...

‘CAREforce for our WORKforce” launched

The Iowa Women’s Foundation is launching a new campaign to increase the recognition of child care providers as essential, professional workers. The campaign, the CAREforce for our WORKforce, will also give the public information on how they can support child care providers during and after ...

The benefit that comes from last century’s perspective

The shackles could not hold us. The Evanses cast them aside last week and traveled to Bloomfield and Cedar Rapids to visit our parents. There are few social distancing concerns when you are standing quietly in a cemetery with your spouse, and your thoughts. Every time I make the trip to ...

School closure far from extended break

The stair stepped closure of Iowa schools; for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, has created a challenging, complex and stressful series of decisions for Iowa’s educational community. This will continue throughout this summer as school districts’ grapple with summer school ...

How Biden could be handing Trump his reelection

In national polling, former vice president Joe Biden is the clear 2020 front-runner. He’s up nearly 5 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average; he’s up in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. That’s because Biden campaigned as the anti-Bernie Sanders: a “return to ...

From covered wagon to Civil War

H e was eight years old when he came west in a covered wagon from Ohio with his family — his father and mother, two brothers, two sisters, and a two year old nephew — eight in all. Cholera had nearly wiped out the village in which they lived. “The people were frightened beyond ...