Neighborhood Olympics defy trends, invent “whack-a-ball”

A bunch of kids in our neighborhood tackled a pair of nagging societal problems on Saturday. And they didn’t even know it.

They didn’t hold a symposium or conference. Nobody broke into small groups or crafted a mission statemen [...]

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Treat owners with respect

This would seem like a good time for some diplomacy on the west bank.

The City of Cedar Rapids is planning for a flood protection system on the northwest side. Levees and green space. And, eventually, that’s likely going to mean buyin [...]

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Cracking the unblessed pasta code

Several years ago, a dinner mishap altered my perspective.

While visiting with my abundant Southern relatives — gatherings always noisy, crowded and overflowing with food — I helped my two daughters with their plates, and sent [...]

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Time for ICCSD to get to work

The Iowa City Community School District should be feeling revitalized this week and, I hope, ready to tackle some persistent challenges.

A former board member, continue »

Hatch cash stash is historic. And that’s not good.

Jack Hatch’s campaign finance numbers released this week were eye-popping. And not in a good way, if you’d like to see him become governor.

Hatch, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, raised $269,320 in the most recent reporti [...]

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Video gambling grows like weeds in Illinois

If you’re still bummed about Cedar Rapids missing out on gambling, you can always meander into Illinois.

In the Land of Lincoln, you can’t swing a bag of disposable income these days without hitting a little gambling parlor. Fi [...]

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Governor follows an ill wind

Our weather vane governor always knows which way the political wind is blowing.

So it was no great surprise last week when Gov. Terry Branstad swiftly slammed the state’s door on the idea of sheltering any of the undocumented immigra [...]

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Not your momma’s media

The media we know today is quite different from what my parents relied on or, for that matter, what my older brothers and sisters knew. The shift forces a nation of media consumers to rethink and readjust how they approach and absorb the informati [...]

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Helping kids is an obligation

I am not sure how people of faith, especially those who say their faith guides them in matters of public policy, are able to reconcile not first reacting with compassion to the plight of Central American children.

While we may not like or ap [...]

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If you live downtown …

There were several reasons, when we decided to buy, we chose the house we have now. Price, of course, is always a big consideration. Perhaps a larger bonus at that time for me — owner of an ancient, rear-wheel drive Monte Carlo and unaccust [...]

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Political groups a mix of opinions

Apparently, our politics is being driven by proud pessimists and disappointed optimists.

At least that’s one conclusion you can draw from the sprawling statistics yielded by the Pew Research Center’s continue »

Bring back ‘Iowa nice’

Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba has drawn scrutiny and (to be blunt) nastiness for announcing organizations in the Quad Cities will help care for a few hundred of the roughly 52,000 Central American immigrant children currently detained in U.S. border [...]

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The camera never blinks on a Senate race gone gothic

Videos dogged Iowa’s U.S. Senate stars this week.

First, there was a video of U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley walking an In [...]

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Iowa’s fireworks debate still smolders

It’s been 76 Independence Days since Iowa banned the sale and use of most types of fireworks. Thanks to that law, peace and domestic tranquility reign each July 4, he types sarcastically.

But will this be the last one?

I doubt [...]

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Raging runoff should prompt commissioners to think twice

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about continuing efforts to scrap a state rule requiring builders with required stormwater handling permits to put four inches of topsoil back on finished sites, if those sites had topsoil removed before construction [...]

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