good bad ugly

The Good

Approximately 205,000 pounds of food were collected during the 19th annual STAR 102.5 Combat Hunger, which took place Nov. 19 and 20. Stationed at 12th and Locust Streets, the collection was a collaborative effort among 190 central Iowa businesses and schools. Combat Hunger is also Iowa’s largest two-day food drive benefiting the Food Bank of Iowa, which supplies food and other materials to hundreds of agencies in 42 Iowa counties.


Seven organizations supporting housing needs of women and children were the recent lucky recipients of $18,000 given by the Des Moines Association of REALTORS Foundation. The grantees included: Children and Families of Iowa, Anawim Housing, Hope Ministries, YMCA, Orchard Place, House of Mercy and Iowa Homeless Youth Center. The Foundation is supported by a portion of the dues paid by members of the Des Moines Association of REALTORS and member donations.

The Bad

Criminals do stupid things, but trying to steal Visine might take the cake. William Lloyd Sandstrom was arrested and charged with second-degree robbery after being held by employees at Hy-Vee for allegedly stealing a bottle of Visine eye drops. A store employee stated that Sandstrom took a bottle of Visine and concealed it in his coat. As he walked toward the door without paying, an employee confronted him. Sandstrom threw the eye drops and pushed the employee, knocking her to the ground. Sandstrom denied to officers any wrongdoing, but a check of his record showed he has been arrested seven times on 24 charges in the last 14 months. Sandstrom will have plenty of time to get the red out.


Although it’s a traditional song, “The 12 Days of Christmas” will cost more than an arm and a leg this year. According to the latest cost analysis by PNC Wealth Management, it will cost $87,403 to show much your true love means to you. The grand total features every item including repeat performers (like 12 drummers drumming) as the song says. Nine ladies dancing is considered the most expensive non-material item ($5,473 per performance), with the seven swans a-swimming topping the material list ($5,250). In these tough economic times, two (chocolate covered) turtledoves might be the closest we’ll get.

The Ugly

As budget problems keep rolling in, nonprofit groups — the ones that really need the money to help keep their free will donations to people in need — will be on the losing end. At least 20 local nonprofit programs that provide housing, food, health and assistance to domestic violence victims could lose more than $715,000 in combined government aid as part of an effort to relieve stress on the city’s budget. The city normally uses federal Housing and Urban Development money to partially support the nonprofit programs, but Rick Clark, city manager, has recommended the money be spent on code enforcement, community centers and neighborhood revitalization initiatives beginning in 2011. The impact will vary, but 14 programs will lose more than 10 percent of their operating budget, and two of those will lose more than 70 percent of its revenue. The Central Iowa Shelter and Services, which serves more than 8,000 meals each month through their Community Kitchen program, could be the hardest hit, losing an estimated $115,000. Council members are expected to consider the cuts to nonprofits at the Dec. 21 meeting.


It wasn’t a great Thanksgiving for one Des Moines resident. Ojut Lino Arino was watching TV around 11 p.m. when he heard a knock. When he opened the door, he discovered three men standing in the doorway. One of the suspects punched Arino in the head, knocking him to the ground. The three men ran inside and took Arino’s jeans and wallet, which contained $10, and his social security card. The suspects also took his house keys and fled the scene. These idiots took the meaning of giving a little too far. CV


what the

This week’s winner:

“The real reason orangutans are being kicked out of the Great Ape Trust: fraternation with the staff got out of hand.”
Andy Kluiter

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