Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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Posted September 06, 2017in Guest Commentary

An elegy for the Fourth and Court parking lot

These days as I drive east into the downtown area, I marvel at how fast the new Kum & Go headquarters is coming together. I give a mental hello to the yellow crane that has marked the horizon of the Western Gateway for the past few years. This particular evening,

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Posted August 18, 2017in Guest Commentary

48 hour film project

Three-dozen hobbyist filmmakers compete in the 13th annual 48 Hour Film Project, a hurried competition to write, film and complete a short film. It took 15 years for James Cameron’s “Avatar” to reach the silver screen. The 30-plus teams competing in the annual 48 Hour Film Project: Des Moines have

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Posted May 03, 2017in Guest Commentary

The making of a newspaperman

How Art Cullen won a Pulitzer Editor’s Note: The following is an April 19 column from Art Cullen, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his editorial writing in The Storm Lake Times. Connections with Art and his brother John date back to my childhood days in Algona, my college days

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Posted February 01, 2017in Guest Commentary

Why your daughter, sister, wife, mom, fellow human marched

“I’ve been raped.” “(The Affordable Care Act) saved my life.” “My pussy is not up for grabs.” Around the country, around the world and around Iowa this weekend, women put on pink “pussyhats,” grabbed signs — many with personal messages — and headed to Washington, D.C., their state capitols or the

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Posted November 02, 2016in Guest Commentary

The American Dream: Jobs or justice?

As we come to terms with election results — and the frustration or despair with the 2016 campaigns — here are three topics worth considering: 1. How will we define the American Dream in the 21st century? 2. How does the 1940 election shed light on 2016’s and Iowa’s role

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Posted October 05, 2016in Guest Commentary

The Olympics: Citius, Altius, Fortius and, of course, Litigium

While the Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger” is familiar, we also should acknowledge that Litigium — Latin for dispute, controversy or distress — is no stranger to the podium either. Litigium was evident at the 2016 games in Rio when Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia finished second in the marathon. At

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Posted August 31, 2016in Guest Commentary

It’s not only candidates whose word should be questioned. Consider comments we utter, too.

Taking people at their word can be risky. That’s why we question what folks running for public office say. But we might also consider some comments we utter on occasion. For example: “It won’t matter in 100 years”: (Don’t waste time worrying about likely futile efforts.) The catch here is

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Posted July 27, 2016in Guest Commentary

Of E.B. White, croquet balls and the press

  Writer E.B. White has a well-deserved warm place in the hearts of millions of people. It would be nice if his writing  also had a place among those who place profits ahead of informing people. White (1899-1985) gave us Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little and gave The New Yorker

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Posted June 29, 2016in Guest Commentary

What to do about our dividedness? Small steps can lead us down the path to progress

The evidence is strong: Americans are dividing themselves by category and issue, including personal values, politics, healthcare, international engagement, trade, war, terrorism, guns, wealth, income, housing, education, integration, race, religion, geography, sexual identity and family structure, to name a few. And what does that produce in our public and private

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Posted June 15, 2016in Guest Commentary

Better labels, better food

  Here’s an option for food manufacturers who don’t want to disclose all that sugar they use: Use less. Food labels are changing. In the past, you could only see how much total sugar was in your food. That included sugars naturally occurring in healthy, whole foods — like lactose

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