Poetry, lifesaver

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

Our current national poet laureate is 46-year-old Tracy K. Smith. Educated at Stanford, Harvard and Columbia and a professor at Princeton, she has dedicated her laureate mission to visits to small towns across the country that have had little exposure to famous, live poets. She believes that poetry can be a lifesaver to all of us whose stories she knows are important not just to us, but to each other, friends and strangers alike. Continue reading Poetry, lifesaver

The Behn Report

Jerry Behn (R), Boone

April 13, 2018

The governor signed a number of bills this week. One of these was Senate File 481, regarding the enforcement of immigration laws in Iowa. It requires an Iowa police or sheriff’s department having custody of a person subject to an immigration detainer request to fully comply with any instruction and legal document provided by a federal agency. It also would prohibit a local entity from taking any action discouraging the enforcement of immigration laws, including adopting or enforcing a policy. The signing of this bill an important step to keep our communities safe and simply ensure the rule of law is enforced in our state. Continue reading The Behn Report

Schizophrenic words

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

Somebody asked me if I thought I was a crone yet.

I said, No, but I was looking forward to it.

In the “new feminism,” the word has taken on a more tolerant flavor – wise older woman – escaping in most civil living rooms from its centuries-long diss as ugly, mean, hag, hell-hag, evildoer, worker of iniquity, wicked, gossip, virago, shrew, harpy, ogress, beldam, old ewe, the bad mother of nightmares. Continue reading Schizophrenic words

Congressional candidate Dr John Paschen (D) talks about issues, campaign

Dr John Paschen 

Dr John Paschen, an Ames pediatrician and a Democratic candidate in the Fourth Congressional district, will run against Rep Steve King (R) of Kiron if both are successful in the June primaries. Paschen says, “My goal isn’t to beat Steve King. My goal is to get to Washington to try to help.”

Paschen talked with GreeneCountyNewsOnline editor Tori Riley last month about his campaign. He spoke on topics he knows well, told his strategy for broadening his knowledge, and shared his campaign plans. Continue reading Congressional candidate Dr John Paschen (D) talks about issues, campaign

The Behn Report

Jerry Behn (R), Boone

April 6, 2018

In the Legislature

This week the governor signed several bills sent to her by the Legislature, including the bill providing affordable health insurance options for Iowans, SF 2349. This bill is a very important step to help Iowans and allow for more options for health insurance options in our state.

She also signed the Future Ready Iowa bill, House File 2548. This initiative is the governor’s effort for 70 percent of Iowa workers having education or training beyond high school by 2025. The Senate was proud to support this bill and we look forward to seeing how this proposal helps fill the gaps in our workforce. Continue reading The Behn Report

Letter to the editor – Landus Cooperative board of directors

April 5, 2018

Dear Editor,

The pace of change in agriculture is increasing. Technology for autonomous tractors and unmanned robots that can pluck weeds from field rows already exists. In coming decades, the grain stored in the cement silos in Churdan, Paton, Scranton, and Jefferson will undoubtedly be grown with the aid of more technology.

With all the change coming in agriculture, one thing remains the same: the need for a skilled workforce to serve our farmer-members. The approval of the bond referendum opens the door for the Iowa Central Community Career Academy, and in turn, another opportunity to recruit and retain qualified workers in, and around, Greene County. Continue reading Letter to the editor – Landus Cooperative board of directors

Nuclear option

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

I was going to write a column about Easter with my family and all the stories and shorthand talk of familiar minds and histories that brought laughter and tears through the day. We prepped and cooked traditional dishes, arranged the flowers, set a pretty table, mashed and carved and sat down to toast one another’s health and peace in this world. We ate leisurely, and finally at about 9 pm were ready for dessert. It was a sweet, peaceful Easter. In fact, it was “tippy-top!” to quote a phrase, except for a couple of things. Continue reading Nuclear option

The Behn Report

Jerry Behn (R), Boone

March 30, 2018

This week, we passed a bill regarding a new dynamic fee policy at state parks and recreational areas. Under the bill, Senate File 2389, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can establish a new fee policy for camping, the use of rental facilities, and other privileges at state parks and recreational areas under the jurisdiction of the department.

This policy includes the fees being increased, reduced or waived by the department for special promotional events, or for holiday or seasonal rates. It also requires prices are competitive with fees in other parks or recreational areas within a 60 mile radius. Continue reading The Behn Report

Letter to the editor – Paul Quam

To the editor,
Following are some thoughts that are going through my mind as I contemplate my vote on the school bond issue.

• Waukee just passed a $117,000,000, with an enrollment of approximately 10,000 students, or about $11,700 per student.  We are looking at a $35,480,000 project with an enrollment of 1,000 students, or $35,480 per student, or a little over 300 percent of what Waukee approved. Dropping back to the $21,480,000 for the bond issue equals $21,480 per student or still 183 percent of what Waukee has committed to. Continue reading Letter to the editor – Paul Quam