Author

Randy Evans

Randy Evans

Randy Evans is executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, a 43-year-old nonprofit education and advocacy organization that works for improved government transparency and citizen accountability. He can be reached at [email protected].

COMMENTARY

Those ‘good neighbor deeds’ can recharge us

By: - December 25, 2021

When I walked out the door at the Des Moines Register for the final time on Dec. 12, 2014, there was an unfinished piece of work tucked away in a box of assorted stuff I carried. The folder contained a few dozen newspaper clippings, press releases and notes to myself I had collected. There was […]

COMMENTARY

Some school officials haven’t learned important lesson about public records

By: - December 16, 2021

The past couple of years have been challenging for Iowa’s 327 public school districts. Parents have become very engaged with their schools — and enraged, too, at times. This has revolved around masks and vaccines, what is being taught or not taught, the content of library books, and an assortment of other concerns. But in […]

COMMENTARY
Redhead teenage male bullying mixed race teenage boy in the corridor at school.

Why aren’t we discussing student behavior issues?

By: - December 11, 2021

When you have orbited the sun as many times as I have, people sometimes want to tap into the insights you have gathered through the years. Young journalists and newsroom managers ask about the lessons I accumulated from a half century in the newspaper business. One lesson is quite simple, actually: Keep your eyes and […]

COMMENTARY

Our political system has withered since Bob Dole’s days

By: - December 9, 2021

The death Sunday of Robert Dole was a potent reminder of what we have lost as a nation. Another member of the Greatest Generation has left us — another of those Depression-era kids who came together to save democracy in the dark days of World War II. The career of the 98-year-old Kansas Republican reminds […]

COMMENTARY

Libraries should be for all, not just for some

By: - November 27, 2021

There’s a big birthday coming up in Iowa in about a month. This place we call home — these 55,800 square miles of farm fields, wooded land, and clusters of housing and commerce — joined the Union 175 years ago on Dec. 28. This should be cause for a celebration. But it probably won’t be. […]

COMMENTARY

Public must be informed in doctor discipline cases

By: - October 25, 2021

The Iowa Legislature’s “to do” list should be a little longer after last week. And people need to contact their senators and representatives in the Legislature to make sure they understand their duty is to protect the health and safety of Iowans. The reason? The Iowa Supreme Court handed down a decision Friday that will pretty […]

COMMENTARY

The wacky extremes with ‘two-sideisms’

By: - October 23, 2021

The requirements for becoming a teacher were always straightforward: Earn a college degree in education, take enough classes in your area of specialty, practice your teaching skills for a semester as a student teacher. Politicians have added a new skill this year in some states: Be a mind reader. That’s what teachers in a Texas […]

COMMENTARY

These men have eloquent guidance about keeping life in perspective

By: - October 16, 2021

Richard Deming, the son of a grain elevator worker and grocery store clerk from small-town South Dakota, is a modest, soft-spoken man. He has spent the majority of his adult life with people when they are most vulnerable — when they or loved ones are fighting cancer. Ron Fournier came out of a different background. […]

COMMENTARY

Neither party is immune from ineptitude

By: - September 28, 2021

Do the folks in politics think we are asleep? Do they really believe no one is paying attention to what politicians are up to? It’s not surprising if you have acid indigestion these days. A few examples illustrate why I might need a tanker truck of Maalox. The comments by our political leaders last week […]

COMMENTARY

Where’s the American spirit against COVID that we saw after 9/11?

By: - September 16, 2021

When the anniversary of some tragedy rolls around, we are reminded of what was lost in those events. We reflect on the lives that were taken and the upheaval those deaths brought to their loved ones, their friends and their communities. What might have been — that’s often a topic during those reflections. We saw […]

COMMENTARY

If vigilante justice spreads, who will be the next target?

By: - September 11, 2021

Let’s set aside our views on abortion. Instead, let’s consider one aspect of the new Texas abortion law that took effect last week. All of us should be able to agree on this, whether we find abortions abominable or support a woman’s right to end her pregnancy: The enforcement mechanism created by Texas lawmakers is […]

COMMENTARY

Red Oak’s war loss both new and sadly familiar

By: - September 4, 2021

The news out of Afghanistan last week about the terrorist bombing at the airport in Kabul brought fresh heartache — and old memories — to Iowa. A native of Red Oak, Marine Cpl. Daegan Page, 23, was among 13 members of the U.S. military who died in the blast. Page and the others were screening […]