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Civic Skinny

Merry Christmas, one and all…

12/18/2013

Twelve drummers drumming…

…oh so vigorously for Phil Dorweiler and his many Kirke in-laws, especially Bob and Laurel…loud enough to be heard through vinyl windows for James and Roxanne Conlin…to thank councilman Ted Ohmart of West Des Moines for 16 years of fine service…and to welcome new councilman Rick Messerschmidt…for the indefatigable Connie Wimer…for the Nadas…and for Susan Harman, president of the Bucky Dent Fan Club. …

 

Eleven pipers piping…

…in quiet background for Rebecca Gruber and everyone at the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus…and James Rodde and the singers with the Iowa Choral Society…for the ailing Bob Ray, who is our living history, and Billie, too, of course…for his one-time lieutenant governor, Art Neu of Carroll, who cares about Iowa…and Naomi, too, of course…for Steve Schainker, the Ames city manager…and Mark Wandro, the new boss at Polk County…for Simpson’s Bill Friedrich, who chronicles the rich and powerful…and for everyone at Team Trib, now spread out hither and yon, especially yon. …

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Ten lords a-leaping…

…for sculptor James Ellwanger…for Jude Igbokwe and Joe Walsh…for the Mahon family — and thanks for the Varsity Theater…for Gov. Terry Branstad and, especially, the guy he wants to fire, Chris Godfrey (But governor, why?)…and Sean, too…for former governors Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver and Bob Fulton. (Bob Fulton? He was governor for 16 days in 1969. You don’t remember?)…and for Matt Hinsch, the governor’s new chief of staff. …

 

Nine ladies dancing…

…to provide a break for the often-beleaguered media folks. Especially for Dan Miller, a true prince, and Molly Phillips, his successor at Iowa Public Television…for Mary Grace Herrington, late of Iowa Public Radio…for Paul Fredericksen, the just-retired boss at Channel 8 (and his successor, Brian Sather)…and all Cooneys everywhere — Kevin and Molly at Channel 8, Brian at Cooney’s Tavern, and patriarch and retired newsman Jim, who still strides the hills at Waveland Golf Course…for new Des Moines Register publisher Rick Green, an upbeat guy in a downbeat business, and “Rick-of-another-color” — sportswriter Brown, a keeper of the flame…for John and Ann Karras, who are back in town…for Storm Lake editor Art Cullen and Carroll and Cityview columnist Doug Burns, two gems who love their towns so much they write the truth…for Randy Evans of the Register, who has to do more with less — and does it…and Dan Winters, who slipped into the Channel 13 anchor chair without missing a beat…for Kay Henderson and Kathie Obradovich and Dean Borg, who do their homework before their Iowa Press show…for Shane Goodman, who owns this newspaper…and for Celeste Jones, who paginates this column. …

 

Eight maids a-milking…

…for Zachary and Mackenzie…and Christopher, who awaits a little brother or sister…for Maia Miller, who will learn to drive in 2014…for all those remarkable young boys big-leaguer Byron Browne organized into a Cubbies baseball team over at Brian Melton Field…and for Byron Browne, too…and for Carmen Lampe Zeitler, the boss at Children and Family Urban Ministries, who keeps a watchful eye on those boys and lots of other kids. …

 

Seven swans a-swimming…

…for old-timers George Turner, who can shoot his age…and Chuck Betts, who looks half his age…for catcher and dad and entrepreneur Mike Mahoney, who can still throw ’em out at second base…for golfer Mike McCoy, who has shot himself into the 2014 Masters…and, while we’re at it, for 92-year-old Jack Fleck, the oldest-living U.S. Open champion. (Ask your grandpa about that 1960 playoff when Iowan Fleck beat Ben Hogan. Oh, ask your grandfather who Ben Hogan was, too.)…for the boys on the state championship Johnston baseball team…and Brad Nelson, who can hit it out of any park…for onetime umpire Tom Lepperd, who knows the rulebook inside out…for Coach Bill Fennelly, who just posted his 400th victory for Iowa State…and new Drake basketball coach Ray Giacoletti, who has brought excitement back to Knapp Fieldhouse…for young skater Patrick Grasso and his buddies at the Bucs…and for everyone at the Iowa Wild, who brought professional hockey back to town. …

 

Six geese a-laying…

…but not in the parks for Ben Page, the city’s parks boss…or groundskeeper Chris Schlosser…for Vernon Delpesce, whose dream for the downtown Y is about to come true, and for Hollie Zeglen, who always has a smile and a big hello at the south side Y…for Paul Morrison and Don Adams, two institutions at Drake…for Rick Atkinson at the Roosevelt Barber shop, another institution of higher learning…for Marty Scarpino at the Embers, where the greeting is warm and the food is hot…and the courteous and knowledgeable waiters at Alba…for the Food Dude, who knows everything…and for the checkout guys at the Ingersoll Dahl’s, who always read Cityview. …

 

Five golden rings…

…for Olympians Gabby Douglas and Miranda Leek and Lolo Jones and Jake Varner…and a special parking place for Employee of the Year (once again) Beth Giudicessi…and her little brother John, the third runner-up…and their mom, Cheryl, and their dog, Oliver…for everyone named Knapp, especially Susan, who can drive an RV and ride a horse and hold a party like a champion…and everyone named Cownie — which covers a lot of territory — but especially Patty and Mary…and for John Forsyth, whose deals for Wellmark ensured a new home for the courts and a new downtown YMCA (and continued parking space at the ballpark)…for brothers Tyler and Adam Steinke, and their mom and dad…for councilwomen Susan Judkins and Chris Hensley…for Carl Wertzberger of Court Avenue Brewing…and for newlyweds Beth and Keaton and Kristen and Andrew. …

 

Four collie birds…

…for Chief Justice Mark Cady, whose gay-marriage decision still resonates happily in Iowa households…and former chiefs Marsha Ternus and Lou Lavorato and Art McGivern and Ward Reynoldson…for retiring appellate chief Larry Eisenhauer, who now has more time for the Royals and Chiefs…and senior federal judge Bob Pratt (and Rose Mary, too), whose annual July 4 talk to new citizens brings a full ballpark to tears of joy and pride…for bar president Guy Cook…for Angela Campbell, who argued persuasively in the United States Supreme Court…and former county attorney Dan Johnston, who argues persuasively at the Cub Club…for former Story County attorney Ruth Harkin, the first Harkin to win elective office…and her lawyer husband, who leaves the United States Senate knowing he made the nation a better place for the disabled — and the rest of us, too…for retiring city lawyer Mark Godwin…for Iowan Mona Houck, practicing law in New York, which is a far cry from Decatur County…and Sharon Malheiro, who keeps on fighting in the courts and the trenches…for Jeannie Vaudt, who should be a judge…and for retired judge Gene Needles. …

 

Three french hens…

…for that crowd over there on the right — Steve Deace and Bob Vander Plaats and Matt Whitaker and all those others who truly believe in the planks in the Iowa Republican platform — but, really, “health care is a privilege, not a right?…for Prof. Jim Leach in Iowa City…and his boss, Sally Mason…for Sen. Mike Gronstal, who pulls no punches…for the spectacular Neal Smith, who quietly brought this state so very much — and then came home from Washington to enjoy it…and his wife, Bea…for gentleman farmer David Johnson, who could be re-elected to the Iowa senate by acclimation…for political blogger Laura Belin…for all five county supervisors, who get things done…and especially John Mauro, who remembers what it’s like to be poor…for Republican Doug Gross and Democrat Jerry Crawford, effective spokesmen for their causes…for Rosemary Moody in the county election office and her daughter Lisa Moody-Tunks across the street in the county building. …

 

Two turtle doves…

…for Jeff Chelesvig and Rick and Eileen Gloor, good neighbors all…for new police lieutenant Dave Seybert…for AFSCME’s Danny Homan, who wears his heart on his sleeve (right next to the anti-Branstad button)…for Council winner Skip Moore and the guy he beat, Chris Diebel, who is young enough to regroup…and for run-off winner Bill Gray…for Kemin lawyer Libby Nelson (and her mom and dad and brother, too)…for Mary Newton of Newton, who sends treats…for anthem singer Susan Voss, who never forgets the words…for Councilman Carl Voss, who never forgets his helmet…and for paralegal Katie Miller, who never forgets anything. …

 

And a partridge in a pear tree…

…in memory of Luther Hill and his brother-in-law George Carpenter, gentlemen both; and the very brave John Cook and Mike Poll, who died way too young; and Peggy Whitworth, who cared…and Rick Tapscott, who led the Register’s newsroom…and Joan Bunke and Otto Knauth and Drake Mabry, who kept us informed for 50 years…and Matthew Bucksbaum, who built an empire; and Lois Bright, who left a legacy, and Brad Peyton, a good citizen…for Katie Hollis and Bernie Lowe and Bill Kunerth and Maureen Tiffany and Janice Zuckert and, always, the first Christopher. CV

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