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Posted December 26, 2012in Joe's Neighborhood, Recent Posts

Traveling without leaving Des Moines

He was an old man when I lived with him years ago. But I suspect this was his pattern even as a young farmer. Up early in the kitchen. Mandatory dress of union suit, ironed pants and dangling suspenders. Two white bowls placed on the table. No one washed. No

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Posted December 26, 2012in On The Tube, Recent Posts

Wear and tear

Joan Rivers rips into 2012’s celebrity style in ‘Fashion Police’ Joan Rivers weighs in with a year-end fashion roundup on “Fashion Police” (Friday, 9 p.m., E!). Along with Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos, Rivers will call out the best and worst of celebrity frocks, naming the “Fash-Hole” who’s

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Posted December 26, 2012in Film Review

Oh, the agony

“Les Miserable” 3 stars Rated PG-13 157 mins. Drama Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway Audiences new to Boubil and Schoenberg’s stage musical — based on Victor Hugo’s novel of historical fiction — may be surprised to discover the wooly narrative isn’t as compelling as they imagined it might

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Posted December 26, 2012in Belly Up

Shorty’s Somewhat Fancy Bar celebrates Schlitz

The easy-to-drink flavors of Schlitz have been a staple on the menus of crappy beer night since the beginning of time, and it’s long been wondered if that’s what the Mayans were drinking when they failed to finish their calendar centuries ago. OK, maybe the Wisconsin concoction isn’t that ancient,

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Posted December 26, 2012in Featured Story, Political Mercury

Rural Caucus chair: State should ban, confiscate semi-automatic guns

State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla, says Iowa lawmakers should ban semi-automatic guns and “start taking them” from owners who refuse to surrender any illegal firearms through a buy-back program. In an interview, a fiery Muhlbauer, the chairman of the Iowa House Democratic Rural Caucus with a reputation for often voting

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Posted December 26, 2012in Duffy

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Posted December 26, 2012in Featured Story, Food Dude

Restaurant and Chef of the Year

The three great cuisines of classical history — Chinese, Roman and Ottoman — all developed as spoils of empire. From Zheng He and Marco Polo to Ibn Battuta and Columbus, history’s greatest adventurers trekked around the world seeking new foods as much as anything else. From Bistro 43 and Sage

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Posted December 26, 2012in The Sound

The GrapeVine, Iowa’s only listening room, is a labor of love

Bonita Crowe is exhausting. She sweeps into the GrapeVine one chilly morning toting a coffee large enough to drown a small dog, and from the moment she starts to talk, her passion and positive attitude are apparent. And infectious. “A lot of the artists that we book here, this is

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Posted December 26, 2012in Civic Skinny, Featured Story

Huh? Roxanne Conlin hires Doug Gross in lawsuit

Politics makes strange bedfellows.Or bedfellows make strange politics. Roxanne Conlin, high-profile lawyer and onetime Democratic candidate for governor and, later, for senator, and her husband, developer James Conlin, have sued the city of Des Moines, and last week the suit was moved to federal district court. It’s all about windows.

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Posted December 26, 2012in Locker Room

Brenton Skating Plaza opens for busy winter season

The earliest ice skates date back 5,000 years. In Switzerland people used leg bones of large animals and tied them to their feet with leather straps. In the 1500s, Dutch skaters nailed flat iron plates to wooden platforms which were then strapped to the feet. Back then skates were probably

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Barmuda