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Playing doctor at the Capitol

This is what happens when the Legislature plays doctor.

Lawmakers approved a bill that, on the surface, looked like it allowed families to use oil extracted from marijuana to treat kids with a severe form of epilepsy. It was hailed as a big [...]

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Changing how I look at water

I was asked by the League of Women Voters to speak on water quality issues at a forum Saturday at the Indian Creek Nature Center. Here is some of what I planned to say, if it turns out I remained upright and unbruis [...]

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Something lost at the checkpoint

Another tragic day. Another opportunity for the purveyors of metal detectors.

This time it was the Jackson County Courthouse in Maquoketa, where a guy angry about his property taxes ends up pulling a gun at a Board of Supervisors meeting. [...]

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Surprise us by showing up to vote

There’s an election today in Cedar Rapids.

Don’t feel bad if this news catches you unaware. You’re not alone.

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A thought or two (or three) about ‘Dine. Dwell. Do.’

So downtown Cedar Rapids has a snappy new slogan, logo and banners.

The slogan? “Dine. Dwell. Do.”

Immediately, I felt hu [...]

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Camera situation is irritating

Excuse me while I vent on the speed camera saga.

This is one of those rare issues where I’m basically irritated by just about everyone involved. I’m irritated by the autopilot policing that the cameras represent, and I think i [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 »

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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 »

Thoughts on the punchfest in the pavilion

So Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and his Democratic challenger Jack Hatch debated in a livestock pavilion at the Iowa State Fair this afternoon. I watched it online, so I missed out on the aroma. Shoot.

Many scribes noted the very special [...]

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