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Civic Skinny

Merry Christmas…

12/24/2014

 

Twelve drummers drumming…

… for all those old folks well past 80 who still go to work every day — Bill Knapp and John Pappajohn and Stan Seidler and R.W. and Mary Nelson, among others — and who still keep this town running…and the bright younger ones, too: Zac Voss and Rob Barron and Josh Mandelbaum and Troy Hansen and Nathan Blake and Gunnar Olson and John Ruan IV and Tim Rypma and Chris Diebel and Joseph Jones and Rob Sand and Andrew Hubbell and Peter and Mary Cownie…and the really young ones — Theo McCullough in Hong Kong, and Liam and Maddux and George T. and Maggie and Christopher and Zack and Mackenzie in Des Moines….

 

Eleven pipers piping…

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… within the margin of error, for Ann Selzer, the best pollster in America…for Dan Houston, who has a big new job at Principal, which is great for him and great for Des Moines, and ditto for Ben McLean, the new boss at Ruan Transportation…and for his mother-in-law, too…for Keith Luchtel, who is stepping down at the Iowa Public Information Board, and Charlie Smithson, who is stepping in…for the McCoy brothers — golfer Mike and politician Matt — who excel at what they do…for columnist Dave Elbert and editor Chris Conetzky and everyone else at the Business Record…for Steve Beckley and the nice guys who work for him….

 

Ten lords a-leaping…

…for Diane Heldt, who has settled in at Two Rivers…and photographer Chris Gannon, who has left the Register for the stability of Iowa State…and his dad and mom, too…and Celeste Jones, who deftly makes everything fit in this column every week…for Register executive editor and Tigers fan Amilie Nash, who answers questions forthrightly…and Geoff Greenwood at the Attorney General’s office, who does the same…and Tyler Steinke, who asks questions ceaselessly…for the two Ann[e]s — Davenport and Broderick — at Silver Fox…and the guys at Mr. B’s…and Cheryle Anania at Drake…and Andrea Anania at the Board of Regents…for Dwight Dinkla…and Cityview readers John Fisher and Jann Freed….

 

Nine ladies dancing…

…at $325 an hour for lawyer George LaMarca… for David and Maddie Maxwell, heading into retirement in Asheville, and we’ll miss them…and Moose and Gus, too…for Chief Judge Art Gamble…for Todd Millang and everybody at Johnny’s Hall of Fame…for WHO’s Sonya Heitshusen and Erik Wheeler — but next time leave the cars in the garage…for Steve Peglow….for Mary Sellers and the Election Office’s Rosemary Moody, of course…wrapped in bacon for Brooks Reynolds…for Coach Bill Sailor in Albia, and his son…for Cityview owner Shane Goodman, and Jolene and the girls, too….

 

Eight maids a-milking…

…for Ag secretaries Tom Vilsack and Bill Northey, a former governor and maybe a future one, who give politics a good name…for Councilman Joe Gatto, who will be mayor some day…or should be…and Scott Sanders, a city manager who knows the numbers…for Judy Bradshaw, a tough act to follow…for Marc Hansen and Tom Witosky, whose book on the Varnum case will soon be out…for the Justices and staff at the Iowa Supreme Court, who make Iowa a better place…for the ailing Bob Ray and the staunch Billie…and Chet Culver…for Chris LoRang, who can straighten you out…and Gigi Filer, who can keep you centered, and Rodney, too…and Steve Sypal and Steve Seipel, who met this year…for Patrick Kelly and his brother, Dan…and Estelle Montgomery….

 

Seven swans a-swimming…

…for newlyweds Grant Woodard and Andrea Jansa…and Brenna Findley and Bob Bird (and sorry about getting that name wrong last week)…for the retiring Joe Royce, who knows everything about government…for all the Skinners…for everyone named Pratt…and everyone named Cooney, especially Jim…for Angela Franklin at Des Moines University…for Jim Gibbons, who got paid for not working, and all the volunteers who work without pay…for Realtor Carolyn Lynner…and Andrew, too…for businesswoman Bev Hutney in Des Moines and her mom in Ames…for Seth Nutting, our favorite Wartburg basketball player…and Dollie Pinegar, who never comes around to say hello (and bring treats)…for two great people: Dan Miller, who hurts, and Diane Graham, who cares….

 

Six geese a-laying…

…for Iowa Cubs grounds boss Chris Schlosser — but not on his new field…for Red Hollis, who now has a bobble-head of his own…golden eggs, if possible, for the bankrupt Marty Tirrell and the bankrupt Dahl’s…for Steve Luebke, who is still in jail…and Mark Graziano, who soon will be…and (speaking of bobble-heads) Kent Sorenson, who is likely to be…and Mark Graziano’s sister, Kim Robertson, who will keep Bauder’s going, thank heavens…for Herb and Joan Strentz, nice people…and Carl and Susan Voss, good citizens who always know what’s going on…for Art Cullen of Storm Lake, the best newspaperman in the state…and Doug Burns of Carroll (and Cityview), one of the best…for Warren Taylor and Gene Raffensperger…for marathon runner Marty Helle….

 

Five golden rings…

…for money-lender (at 12%) and Congressman-elect Rod Blum…and the guy he beat, Pat Murphy…on loan, interest-free, for Bruce Rastetter…for everyone at the First Friday Breakfast Club…for Jim Flansburg and Jim Flansburg, ailing father and caring son…for Tom Harkin, who fought the good fight for 40 years (and continues to)…and Ruth, who was the first Harkin elected to public office…for Sen.-elect Joni Ernst, who will be Iowa’s first elected woman in Washington…and for whoever did her TV ads…for Dolores Van Oort, indefatigable Cub fan, and her son, county supervisor Steve…for Chris Hensley and Angela Connolly, who never miss a meeting…and for Brad Zaun, who kept winning but somehow lost….

 

Four collie birds…

…for Ohio’s Rick Clark and Mary Grace Herrington; we miss them both…for the Register’s Randy Peterson and Rick Brown and Rox Laird and Bill Petroski, the only guys left who remember the good old days…and Tommy Birch, a young fogey…and wry, retired Randy Evans…for David Hurd and Fred Hubbell and Harry Bookey and Roxanne Conlin, who gave big checks to Jack Hatch even though he never had a chance…and so did Susan Knapp, though not as much as her husband gave Terry Branstad…for  Tom Hockensmith…for fisherman Guy Cook…for Rick and everyone else at the Roosevelt Barber Shop…for George Drake and Gary Fethke, who were terrific college presidents….

 

Three french hens…

…for Bubu Palo, who cleared his good name…and his coach, Fred Hoiberg, who never lost his…for Jens Krogstad and Mary Stegmeier, who have fled to Washington…and Chris Godfrey, happily in Washington, too…and Beth Dalbey…for AFSCME’s Danny Homan, who never gives up and never gives in…for Gary Slater, the head of the Fair (and next year, how about an oleo cow?)…for city librarian Greg Heid…for Steve and Dawn Roberts and Dave Oman and Bob Brownell and Art Neu, who must be lonesome in their GOP wing…for Mary O’Keefe…for Bob Hopson and all-staters Randy Duncan and Jim McConnell, who took Roosevelt High School to the final game of the state basketball tournament — in 1954….

 

Two turtle doves…

…for Kyle and Sharon Krause, who are changing downtown…and Jeff Hunter, who knows the difference between “continuous” and “continual”…for Diane Crookham-Johnson and her dad…and John and Jackie Norris…for Katie Miller, who does everything…for the Lynch twins, Alex and Luke, and the McCaughey septuplets — who can’t really be 17 years old…for everyone named Mauro, especially John and Michael, who know sports and politics…for Cyndi Pederson at the Social Club…for Mona Houck, who can spot a typo 1,200 miles away…for John Giudicessi, co-winner of Employee of the Year….

 

And a partridge in a pear tree…

…in memory of the kind and talented Randy Brubaker… and Alvin Kirsner and Jack Fleck, who outlived his fame, and Robert Horner and Bob Dyer…and Jeffrey Zimpleman…and General Bill Wallace…and the lovely Andy Anderson at Vista Kennels…and Mary Garst…and Mayor Dick Olson…and Erik Nielsen, who was only 20…and Fred Lorber, especially…and, always, the first Christopher. CV

 

— Michael Gartner

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