Sunday, June 24, 2018

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Posted June 06, 2018in Civic Skinny

What budget cuts? What pay freeze? Coaches get raises, athletic budgets keep growing. Food fight in East Village.

The budget cuts and pay freezes at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University have some big exceptions: Athletic budgets aren’t touched, and coaches will continue to get very big raises. After a lot of back and forth, legislators in their wisdom cut $40.9 million from the general university

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Posted May 02, 2018in Civic Skinny

Kirk Blunck estate pays off defaulted debt to city. Ireland honors snubbed Cullen. A history lesson.

The estate of Kirk Blunck has paid off two long-delinquent loans the city provided to help Blunck rehabilitate two buildings in the East Village. That leaves just one claim remaining against the estate of the architect and developer who died under puzzling circumstances in one of his buildings on a

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Posted March 13, 2018in Civic Skinny

Remembering Gil Cranberg: Updated CIVIC SKINNY LITE

Two of his children and a colleague recall Register editorial writer, the “intellectual leader of state,” who died March 11 at age 93 Gil Cranberg may have been the smartest person ever to enter the Register and Tribune building. And — luckily for Iowans — he stayed for 33 years. In

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Posted February 28, 2018in Civic Skinny

Small papers hit hard by new Hy-Vee ad strategy. A weaving Maserati. Sex with a stranger, sort of.

Hy-Vee’s decision to quit putting weekly advertising inserts into newspapers is another blow to Iowa’s newspapers — and it’s a particular hit at the 75 or so small dailies and weekly papers where grocery-store ads are an economic lifeline. “It’s big money,” says the publisher of one small daily, but

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Posted January 31, 2018in Civic Skinny

McCoy vs Mauro? Hatch vs. Bisignano? Who’s giving what in gubernatorial race.

Matt McCoy isn’t talking, but friends say he almost certainly will leave the Iowa Senate and run against John Mauro for Mauro’s seat on the Polk County Board of Supervisors. Both are popular Democrats with deep followings, especially on the south side of town. A McCoy-Mauro race could complicate South

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Posted January 03, 2018in Civic Skinny

Judges turn down cheeky appeal from Kent Sorenson. Sabbaticals: Streetball, German organs, boxing films.

Resembling the boy who killed his parents and then asked the court for leniency because he was an orphan, former legislator Kent Sorenson had asked the Federal Court of Appeals to reduce his 15-month sentence for political crimes connected to the 2012 presidential political campaign by giving him credit for

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Posted December 06, 2017in Civic Skinny

Mandelbaum-Kiernan city race was costliest ever. Poll favors Fred Hubbell. Godfrey case is narrowed.

The race between Josh Mandelbaum and Mike Kiernan for the Third Ward council seat was the most expensive in the history of Des Moines. Mandelbaum, an environmental lawyer, had raised $188,240 with still nearly a week to go before the Nov. 7 election, which he won with 56 percent of

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Posted November 01, 2017in Civic Skinny

Kirk Blunck’s family sues, says architect was murdered. Is Teachout sale near? Register circulation plummets.

The sad tale of Kirk Blunck drags on. The police have gathered all they could gather about that Sunday afternoon in January of 2016 when the often-praised and often-sued architect and landlord fell or was shoved to his death in a stairwell of the Teachout Building he owned in the

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Posted October 04, 2017in Civic Skinny

Winners (Waukee, Apple) and losers (Iowa) in Apple deal. Massachusetts issues larceny warrant for Tirrell arrest.

That Apple deal with Waukee is a whole lot richer for the town than even its biggest advocates say. Perhaps at least 10 times richer than the biggest figures being bandied about. And it could be a whole lot sweeter for Apple than the papers and blogs and TV stations

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Posted September 06, 2017in Civic Skinny

Why this is the final stand-alone school election (no one votes). Marty Tirrell and Ken Miller split. Steve Leath loses — again.

School-board elections will be held in Iowa on Sept. 12. You probably won’t have to wait in line at the polls. There are 115,103 registered voters in the Des Moines Independent School District. Two years ago, 4,984 of them voted. That’s a turnout rate of 4.3 percent. In West Des

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