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One Man’s Perspective: Let’s all speak a little ‘Iowan’

As a native Californian who spent the first 27 years of his life on the West Coast before moving to the Midwest and relocating to Iowa where I have spent the past 29 years of my life. I’ve really never noticed a difference between an Iowa dialect and a California dialect.

Guest Commentary: A dangerous consequence of public-notice bill — Iowans won't know what they don't know

What separates average-to-good Iowa towns from thriving ones, former Gov. Terry Branstad often said, is the presence of locally owned banks and a dedicated community newspaper.

Community newspapers are a big part of what makes Iowa, well, Iowa.

And that's why it's so troubling that some in the Iowa Senate are considering requiring legal notices to be posted on some to-be-created state-run website and would not be required to be published in a local newspaper.

Guest Commentary: Delivering a strong farm bill for Iowa

Every five years, Congress reauthorizes the Agriculture Improvement Act — better known as the farm bill — to protect the productivity, profitability and international competitiveness of American agriculture.

Randy’s Review: ‘Shazam: Fury of the Gods’

Not going to lie, based on the original “Shazam” film, the anticipated sequel featuring Billy Batson (Asher Angel) and his family of teen foster siblings — best friend Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), Mary (Grace Caroline Curry), Eugene (Ian Chen), Pedro (Jovan Armand) and Darla (Meagan Good) — attempt to function as typical youth under the roof of their foster-parents while balancing their lives as the transformative adult hero team — Shazam (Zachary Levi) and his superhero family (Adam Brody; Cu

Book Review: Memoir redefines meaning of home

“The Long Way Home,” a memoir about how travel eventually brings us home, is the April featured selection for Writers and Writing. Author Tom Montgomery Fate is a native of Maquoketa and Iowa City.

Fate’s memoir explores family, journeys and his inner search for the meaning of life.

Pastor’s Column: There's a place for us

Dear friends of Christ, the musical, “Westside Story,” is a timeless tale of two teenagers from different gangs. They fall in love, wanting only one thing — a place to love — a place where they can be together safely. They wistfully sing to each other about “a somewhere,” about a time and place where life is peaceful and quiet. They sing, “There's a place for us, somewhere a place for us.

The CommStock Report: CO2 pipeline project differences

There are three CO2 sequestration pipeline projects under development with two, Summit Carbon Solutions and Navigator CO2 Ventures crossing our region, locally. I have clients who are dealing with both companies asking easements from them. I have personal experience with Summit Carbon Solutions, having signed an easement with them, with second hand information from clients and others dealing with Navigator.

Guest Commentary: A very productive week in the Iowa Senate

This week has been a very productive week in the Iowa Senate. We have had important bills, debates and meetings take place over the course of the week. I served on several subcommittees, chairing two. We also had a Ways & Means Committee meeting where several bills passed and are now eligible for floor debate. After two days of floor debate in the Senate, the House is now working through several of those bills.

Guest Commentary: Reducing needless regulations

A theme this week in the Iowa Senate was reducing needless regulations on Iowans, prospective Iowans and Iowa small businesses.

SF 455 provided relief on over-regulation of storm water by local governments. SF 455 simply says local governments cannot regulate topsoil beyond the standards set by the Department of Natural Resources. This language provides clarity for small businesses working to build affordable housing and avoid the added costs inherent in excessive regulation.

Guest Commentary: Did your retirement plan administrator still withhold? Get that money back!

The Department of Revenue recently updated their guidance regarding the retirement income exemption that went into effect at the beginning of this year. The department was hearing from numerous Iowans that plan administrators were still withholding on their retirement disbursements.

Guest Commentary: The governor's government reorganization

This week the Iowa House of Representatives passed a piece of legislation that streamlines and realigns the state government of Iowa. It has been nearly 40 years since the organization of the state government has been evaluated and restructured in order to be serve Iowans. In that time the number of cabinet level departments and agencies has grown to 37 agencies.

Pastor's Column: Drifted away

When I was praying and considering what to write for this article, the Lord gave me a dream. In that dream, I was walking along care-free under a canopy. The sun was shining and birds were singing, but then it began to rain, and rain very hard indeed. That was fine, because I was under the canopy, and although the rains came down around me, they did not come down on me; I was dry.

The CommStock Report: CO2 sequestration is the next value addition to our financial future

Eminent domain ... don't know that anyone really likes it but without it we would be missing some roads, airports, electricity and some other necessary infrastructure that makes our world work. The concept of eminent domain is that it should be used ... but sparingly. If the vast majority sees the value in something, then a few intransigent holdouts cannot over-rule the consensus. The controversy then becomes … where is consensus triggered to where eminent domain is implemented?

Editorial: Keep public notices in community newspapers

Some members of the Iowa Senate do not think that public notices published in newspapers remain relevant and necessary. A bill filed in the newly formed Technology Committee just over a week ago moved through committee in two days and last week moved through the Ways & Means Committee in one day. Senate File 546 would result in removing a major component of government transparency.

On the Side: Transparency is best public policy

Of all the policies government agencies must abide, there is none greater than transparency.

This is "Sunshine Week," seven days which celebrate the great American — and Iowan — principle that government belongs to the people, and thus, its actions, records, deliberations, considerations, and decisions are to be taken and recorded in view of the public eye.

One Man’s Perspective: Protecting female athletes make sense

In an article titled “National ban on transgender athletes in girls sports passed by U.S. House panel, published on March 9, by Ariana Figueroa, it was noted: “The U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee early Thursday passed a bill on a party-line vote that would block transgender girls from competing in school sports consistent with their gender identity, a reflection of a broader push in multiple states to curb the rights of transgender student athletes.”

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