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Posted December 31, 2013in Rap Sheet

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Posted December 31, 2013in Civic Skinny

Rick Clark to resign as city manager

Des Moines City Manager Rick Clark will retire later this year and move to the Cleveland area, where his wife, Mary Grace Herrington, has taken a job in public broadcasting. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Clark, who was born in Cleveland. Clark has spent almost his entire

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Posted December 27, 2013in Sore Thumbs

WII FIT U    (E) ***1/2 Nintendo Wii U It’s the dawn of a new year, but it won’t be for long, so it’s important to make the most of those ambitious New Year’s resolutions before they inevitably fall by the wayside. And if one of those resolutions is to get

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Posted December 26, 2013in Film Review

Staring blank

“Her” 2 stars Rated R 120 minutes Comedy Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson Where Spike Jonze once soared using magical realism — albeit written by someone else — as his guide (see “Being John Malkovich”), he now flounders with a self-penned technology-driven story that shrivels before your eyes.

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Posted December 26, 2013in Belly Up

A scenic view inside and out at Cityscape Lounge

Very few people of today’s world show enough respect to measure up to the standards of their grandparents. Many young adults prematurely presume, for example, that they are at a first-name status with their superiors at work and their elders in life. And the most seasoned in the crowd are

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Posted December 26, 2013in Joe's Neighborhood

Skating like a Rooster

Skating is a terrifying activity wrapped in a bow-tied package of exhilaration. Certainly there is all that floating and gliding and whooshing-air-past-rosy-cheeks stuff — a giddy time to be sure. But if you look in the dark corner at the edge of your vision, off to the far right, you

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Posted December 26, 2013in Civic Skinny

The suddenly open Congressional seat. More woe for Tirrell. Tom Miller and gays.

Here’s an astounding fact: The last time there was a Congressional race in Polk County without an incumbent seeking re-election was in 1940. GOP Rep. Cassius Dowell, a Des Moines lawyer first elected to Congress in 1915, died on Feb. 4, 1940, and Republican Robert K. Goodwin — of the

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Posted December 26, 2013in Political Mercury

Can Hatch dish-towel Brand Branstad?

He’s Uncle Ben. The rice. Charmin. Ivory soap. The Folgers in Iowa’s cup. For about 20 years — with a clear-seas-ahead shot at 24 — Brand Branstad is the reliable reach on the Hawkeye State political shelf. Iowans don’t even put Gov. Terry Branstad on the shopping list. They instinctively

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Posted December 26, 2013in Food Dude

Food Dude’s top new restaurant of 2013

Central Iowa’s restaurant boom has fully recharged. The year should end up ranking with the best years ever for new restaurant openings, and 2014 is already looking like a big year: Jason Simon’s A2, George Formaro’s Malo and David Baruthio’s Blue Tomato all plan to be up and running in

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Posted December 26, 2013in The Sound

The End, a Beatles rock revival

Let’s face it, tribute bands can be kind of a joke. Most spend more time honing the aesthetic of their chosen band than on the actual sound. Tribute bands tend to be more about honoring a romanticized version of what the original band was: Get the clothing right, play in

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