A new take on news

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

The free press part of the first amendment to the Constitution is there so that the government won’t be able to control the news and that the press itself will ferret out the wrongs done by government (and business) for the rest of us. This presupposes a press that is not itself full of evil doings as it informs us, plus the daily deluge they’ve discovered that is remorseless in its sadness, horror and cynicism. Continue reading A new take on news

May you live in interesting times

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

“’May you live in interesting times,’” said Sir Austen Chamberlain (brother of Neville) in 1938, quoting what he explained was a Chinese curse, handy for use on people you don’t like.

We do live in interesting times. And it is a curse. Give me boring times any day. More time to read a book, go for a walk, fish, loiter…anything but follow the daily circus, which lures me with its element of doom. Continue reading May you live in interesting times

Letter to the editor from Canton, OH

To the editor,

Congratulations to Thomas Laehn and Jack Williams for excellent work bringing Justin Emmick to justice.

He was doing the same crimes here in Ohio with no repercussions.

I employed him and had no idea of his extensive background.

Again, great work.

Jim Schumacher, Canton, OH

Were you taught to pick up your toys?

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

Each year, 9 million tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans of Earth. Mammals, fish, birds die by ingesting it or the prey that winds up with it in their stomachs. We humans have it in our systems too because we eat the fish of the seas.

A year ago in May, National Geographic initiated a series called “Hostile Planet” to inform us of the damage we’ve done. It was the first of Nat Geo’s “Planet or Plastic?” informational attack of a search-teach-and-learn initiative for the saving of Earth. Continue reading Were you taught to pick up your toys?

In the legislature

Jerry Behn (R), Boone

~by Senator Jerry Behn

April 29, 2019

During the 15th week of the legislative session we continued our work towards adjournment for the year. We spent much of our time waiting for bills to come to us from the other chamber, waiting on amendments, and debating some of the last proposals we will discuss this year. Because this is the first year of the 88th General Assembly, bills that didn’t get passed out of the Senate can be taken up next year. Continue reading In the legislature

Reynolds calls 2019 legislative sessaion “a win for Iowans”

DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds, L released the following statement after the conclusion of 2019’s legislative session on Friday:

“Earlier this year in my Condition of the State Address, I said now is the time to deliver on the promises we made to Iowans looking for a way up. Through collaboration and compromise, those Iowans will be better off today than they were before. The biggest winners of this legislative session were Iowa students, families, farmers, small business owners, and our rural communities. Continue reading Reynolds calls 2019 legislative sessaion “a win for Iowans”

King draws small crowd, polite questions, police coverage for town hall meeting

~by Denise O’ Brien Van

Republican Steve King, Iowa’s Fourth District Congressman, drew about 30 people, including several leading Greene County Democrats, two police officers and a handful of local news reporters, to an April 25 town hall meeting at the Jefferson Community Golf Course. Continue reading King draws small crowd, polite questions, police coverage for town hall meeting

One smart poet: Mary Oliver questions and comforts

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

April is National Poetry Month in the U.S. and Canada. Some think poetry is dumb; or even worse, pointless.

Some think it necessary for survival.

It is said to be the first kind of story-telling, a way of talking that humans came upon to tell another person important life lessons in rhyme and rhythm so they would remember. Continue reading One smart poet: Mary Oliver questions and comforts

The Behn Report

Sen Jerry Behn (R), Boone

~by Sen Jerry Behn

We are fourteen weeks into the legislative session, leaving us with only two weeks until the scheduled end of session. This deadline prompted discussion on a number of substantive topics this week and many hours debating on the Senate floor.

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill creating a children’s behavioral health system in Iowa. After last year’s improvements to the adult mental health system in our state, it was important to expand those services to children. Continue reading The Behn Report

Letter to the editor – Patti Naylor

To the editor,

The closing of the Landus Cooperative facility in Scranton will be a difficult and costly change for the area farmers and for the community. I commend Dawn Rudolph for writing her heart-felt op-ed in the April 10 edition of the Scranton Journal about this sad news. Although I lost my race for county supervisor against Dawn, I am glad to know that someone who cares so much about her community is in that position. Continue reading Letter to the editor – Patti Naylor

Some people work to save the world, not make it worse

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

If you, like me, have a tendency to worry about climate change, overpopulation, floods, fires, loss of farmland to urbanization, mass migration because of all these things and most governments ignoring it all for power grabs and other political idiocy that does not advance and protect humankind and its planet…it’s comforting to come upon news of gains being made in at least one of these problem areas. Continue reading Some people work to save the world, not make it worse