Iowa Needs More Than Just The Big Regents Schools

Iowa is speeding toward a dangerous crossroads this week, and there has been too little discussion about what might occur and zero discussion about what the state should do. Trustees of Iowa Wesleyan University, the second-oldest college in Iowa, meet on Thursday to decide whether the institution will close next spring. The Mount Pleasant school has been educating young men and women since 1842. It was established four years before Iowa became a state and five years before the University of Iowa opened its doors. Only Loras College in Dubuque is older, having been founded in 1839. But Iowa Wesleyan’s […]

With A Nation Unraveling, When Will We Say Enough Is Enough?

Let’s skip the debate over whether our president bears even a smidgen of blame for contributing to the domestic terrorist incidents last week in the United States. Let’s agree we are never going to agree, so there’s no use driving each other’s blood pressure higher by talking more about that. Yes, there will always be people who are so mentally disturbed they think they are improving life in our United States by gunning down 11 people in a synagogue or by mailing 13 pipe bombs to people the culprit, and the president, dislike. Having said that, I wonder when will […]

How A Leg Up From Society Can Help Feed The World

Each year in October, when the Iowa countryside transforms from gorgeous summer greens to harvest season hues of tan, some of the world’s top agricultural scientists and anti-hunger activists gather in Des Moines to compare notes. The occasion is the presentation of the annual World Food Prize. It’s three days of conversations about the progress, or the setbacks, in the quest to adequately feed the world’s expanding population. Last week, as in years past, the event brought 1,200 people from 50 countries to Iowa. The highlight came Thursday night during a ceremony at the Iowa Capitol when the 32nd annual […]

Another Case Of Secrecy At An Iowa Community College

There’s an old expression that officials of Indian Hills Community College obviously have not heard about — or have chosen to ignore. The expression is simple: If you find yourself in a hole, stop shoveling. But the school continues to shovel — digging itself ever deeper into legal trouble and into a public relations quagmire. The Daily Iowegian newspaper in Centerville had a blockbuster report last week that contained bizarre disclosures that have been the talk of the town since the newspaper hit the streets: Both of the Indian Hills baseball coaches were forced out in May after several players […]

Kavanaugh’s Mouth Is Just As Troubling

It’s confession time: I cannot say with confidence what transpired in that upstairs bedroom in a suburban home in Montgomery County, Md., on that summer evening, apparently in 1982, during a gathering of unsupervised, beer-drinking teenagers. Unless you have just awakened like a latter-day Rip Van Winkle, you know the party in question involved a 15-year-old girl named Christine Blasey and may or may not have involved a drunken 17-year-old boy named Brett Kavanaugh. What did or did not occur that evening was discussed, cussed, critiqued and criticized at great length last week before, during and after a marathon hearing […]

Apparently, Legal Deadlines Don’t Apply To Everyone

Some of the most stressful memories I have of my school days involve the words, “We’re going to have a pop quiz today.” Don’t panic, but there’s a pop quiz today. Here goes: CASE STUDY 1: The Iowa Code says all nomination papers for the primary election for state and federal offices must be submitted to the secretary of state’s office by 5 p.m. on the 81st day before the primary election. What happens if a candidate fails to gather enough signatures on the nomination papers and get the papers submitted by 5 p.m.? Don’t cheat by Googling “Ron Corbett,” a […]

Iowa Taxpayers Taken For Expensive Ride On Godfrey Case

Most Iowans are pretty frugal. They don’t waste their money. They especially don’t like it when they believe government officials fritter away our tax money. That’s why I think many people in Iowa are not familiar with the case of Chris Godfrey. Otherwise, if they were truly informed about what has occurred in the past six and a half years, I am convinced they would be steamed about the decision and actions of Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds when they were governor and lieutenant governor. Follow along and see if you think I am off base. See if you agree […]

Time To Focus On The Real Issues In The Governor’s Race

Distraction appears to be a main focus so far in the race for Iowa governor. Election Day is two months away. The decision Iowans make on Nov. 6 will be an important factor in where our state is headed. But instead of having a full and frank debate over important issues and ideas that will shape Iowa’s future, Gov. Kim Reynolds and, to a lesser extent, Fred Hubbell are allowing the race to revolve around sideshow issues. Last week, it was Hubbell’s inadequate disclosure of his income tax returns. Releasing only a few pages served to guarantee that there will […]

How Iowa Priests Are Reacting To Catholic Church Abuse

At most services, Father P.J. McManus moves quickly through the announcements — typically covering such things as the coming Christ the King Church sweet corn festival, the signup for the fall retreat, or a new book study group that soon will begin. This past weekend, however, the announcements took a very different theme and tone. Father P.J. began by mentioning he was at a Des Moines Hy-Vee on Wednesday, shopping for a dinner he was hosting that evening for leaders of the youth group. He was not wearing his Roman collar at the store, and a parishioner he encountered asked […]

Trump’s Immigration Policies Target Military Spouses, Preschoolers

Once again, our government has demonstrated that common sense really isn’t so common. I understand that Americans are not of one mind on the issue of immigration. I understand that people who break the law ought to face punishment. What I don’t understand are two cases involving foreign-born women — one a 39-year-old mother of two in Florida, the other a 4-year-old preschooler in Colorado. Their dealings with the U.S. government, and the inability of our government to apply even a modicum of common sense, have me shaking my head at their predicament. Set aside your political views as you […]