Commentary

Waterloo native, St. Ambrose grad makes ‘beautiful noise’ in Los Angeles

BY: - January 28, 2023

WATERLOO – Joel D. Elliott II is all about “taking the next step” – from the basketball floor at Waterloo East High School to the red carpet of Hollywood award shows. Also known professionally as “Joel D,” the Waterloo-born graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport is now a successful broadcast production and sound engineer […]

Iowa’s mental illness treatment system is not fixed yet, especially for children

BY: - January 26, 2023

As the third week of the Iowa legislative session winds down, it seems that the urgency of the past few sessions to address mental health care in Iowa has faded. Many policymakers seem to feel that much work has been done in this space, and they are ready to move on to other priorities. In […]

Iowa’s latest test for democracy: Fighting for the Iowa caucuses

BY: and - January 25, 2023

The greatest moments in our nation’s history do not happen on a schedule or timeline. They often arise in obscure places utterly unaware of the true consequences of the event. Take, for example,  an unknown hill outside of Boston called Bunker. That almost unintended battle was the first step to the United States becoming a […]

The message from Gov. Reynolds and the GOP: Transparency is for suckers

BY: - January 23, 2023

Transparency is for suckers. That’s the message, loud and clear, from Gov. Kim Reynolds and her Republican enablers in the Legislature. I’d suspect that this was another, particularly idiotic manifestation of the trans-phobia that has infected Republican officeholders the past few years. But no, Reynolds and GOP lawmakers are insisting on “transparency” through various priority […]

Rear view of students sitting with hands raised in classroom

Few Iowa families will have more choices with GOP ‘school choice’ plan

BY: - January 17, 2023

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says her plan to use taxpayer money to pay for private schooling gives people a choice to educate their kids where they want. But that’s not what her plan says. Just look at the details: Only certain families with kids in public schools will get that choice. What this plan really […]

King - Selma March

This MLK Day, let’s learn the right lessons from history

BY: - January 16, 2023

Every year, the arrival of the Martin Luther King holiday calls us to pause and reflect on Dr. King’s legacy. And every year, I’m struck by the same thing: as sincere as we are in our reverence for Dr. King, we keep learning the wrong lessons not just from his life but from history writ large. Let me explain. In […]

Heart and soul: Home butchering is a lost art

BY: - January 15, 2023

It started with a hunk of beef liver. I’d stopped by my Amish neighbors — Eli and Naomi’s Yutzy’s farm — to pay a bill I owed them. We stood in their breezeway, filled with old chore clothes, jackets, caps, overalls and five-gallon plastic buckets. The Yutzys had begun their butchering for the season, a […]

Asian in the ′80s: A glorious time of innocence, a time of great ignorance

BY: - January 15, 2023

Growing up in West Central Iowa, I thought I knew who I was. I had lived in the same town since I was four. I was Jane, a girl with lots of friends, who liked being the center of attention. As an Asian-American, I knew I looked different than everyone around me. I had shiny, […]

Four steps the Iowa Legislature can take to end hunger

BY: and - January 13, 2023

As we begin 2023 and a new General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature, Iowans are experiencing record levels of hunger. This need is well-documented in recent reports of increased demand for emergency food aid due to an end to pandemic-era relief programs, inflation and rising food costs. Addressing immediate needs is important, but to truly […]

Let the people vote for their county supervisor

BY: - January 12, 2023

My wife says I’m tilting at windmills. I suppose she’s right. But since her claim is just a metaphor and no real damage will be done, here goes: The next member of the Scott County Board of Supervisors ought to be elected by the people. I know: Crazy, right? Who would think when there’s a […]

When ‘reasonable’ costs for public records become unreasonable

BY: - January 11, 2023

The Legislature wrote Iowa’s public records law 55 years ago, and one of the tenets of the statute was the belief people deserve to know how state and local governments spend their tax money. Another important concept in the law is that fees for copies of government records must be reasonable and cannot exceed the […]

Iowa legislators must support state universities, not just student scholarships

BY: - January 9, 2023

When I started my freshman year in college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated. I knew I was a writer, but I had no clear job goal in mind. For the first two years at Iowa State University, I registered for courses that would fit into either an English or […]