Political ads coming to a TV near you. Or maybe not.

Warning: Satire.

Labor Day marks the traditional start of the fall election campaign.

We’re going to see a lot of TV ads. I have received top-secret transcripts of some ads you may be see [...]

continue »

A case for oversight

PICHER, Okla. — The devastation of small towns near the Oklahoma-Kansas state line and at the heart of the Tar Creek Superfund site appears fairly straightforward. In the most simple terms, the problem is as prominent and overwhelming as th [...]

continue »

Stage set for Ft. Madison battlefield

Although leaders in Fort Madison have not reversed an earlier decision to split a historic parcel of land and allow retail development on one section, they have entered into an agreement aimed at historic preservation and management of the remaind [...]

continue »

Will resource shift help kids?

As the Cedar Rapids School Board prepared to dramatically change the way the district provides mental health services, board member John Laverty asked the key question.

“Is this going to detract from our mental health services for stu [...]

continue »

Battle over our history — again

Our history is filled with fights over history, and we're doomed to repeat them. Over and over again.

This time, it's the College Board's continue »

Renewing the promise of Women’s Equality Day

On this day in 1920, not yet 100 years ago, Congress granted women the right to vote. This day — now celebrated as “Women’s Equality Day” — marks the end of an 80-year campaign for women’s suffrage.

continue »

Kick-start diversity with board

Much consternation has taken place over the past few years in Johnson County due to the Iowa City Schools’ facilities plan and diversity policy. Here’s a suggestion: let’s start enacting needed changes in the way board members [...]

continue »

Turning a corner after the “end of an era”

A downtown renaissance is just around the corner.

At least that’s what The Gazette said in September of 1983, in a story about the future of retail in the city’s core. Killian’s department store had just closed its down [...]

continue »

You don’t want to go home again

The picture tucked into my photo album wasn’t what I expected.

In that photo, I’m a little girl, holding a beach ball and snuggled into my father’s bare chest as his feet are covered by sand and the tide in Galveston, T [...]

continue »

On debt, disaster and debate

Our race for governor has taken a nostalgic turn, with “Big Debt Chet,” I-JOBS and the Flood of 2008 all making cameo appearances.

It started in last week’s debate when Gov. Terry Branstad touted his fiscal wisdom by sw [...]

continue »

Branstad should share his plans

Our governor is pledging to serve his entire sixth term if he’s re-elected this fall. Swell. But good luck figuring out what he wants to do with four more years.

At multiple points during last week’s State Fair debate between G [...]

continue »

Soaking up Iowa

(Today’s Insight section featured several essays on what being an Iowan means. Here’s my contribution)

On the muggy May night after my high school graduation, I was cruising gravel roads with a couple of guys in a beat u [...]

continue »

Developing War of 1812 location shortsighted

City leaders in Fort Madison have agreed to split a plot of land they know to be historic. While dividing the parcel does not immediately endanger further investigation or preservation of the site, it does clear the way for a section of the proper [...]

continue »

Bittersweet balancing act of life

In the summer of 1988, I was 20-years-old. had two years of college under my belt, and sneaked out of my parents’ house for the first time.

The overstuffed car had 4-60 air conditioning — four windows down, traveling at 60 mile [...]

continue »

Work to keep Options open

Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call. Because it could be Janet Wagner, and she’s not letting you off the hook.

“I have to tell you, I’m angry,” said Wagner, who was among the multitude who came to continue »