Celebrating Art Cullen

Former State Senator Daryl Beall shares highlights from a June 16 event in Des Moines honoring Storm Lake Times editor Art Cullen, who won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing for a series of columns that “successfully challenged powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

Part toast, part roast, the standing-room-only soiree for Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Cullen was a memorable event. Orchestrated and emceed by Iowa Freedom of Information Council executive director Randy Evans, the event also served as a fundraiser and friend-raiser for the IFOIC and was attended by past and present journalists, politicos and other well-wishers.

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How American farmers will be hurt by Trump's decision to leave Paris accord

Matt Russell is Resilient Agriculture Coordinator at Drake University’s Agricultural Law Center, as well as a farmer in Marion County. This commentary first appeared in The Conversation. -promoted by desmoinesdem

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement fails farmers, one of the major constituencies that helped him win the White House. Arguably, U.S. farmers are the most capable of developing systems to both reduce and remove greenhouse gas emissions. But the Trump administration is ignoring our nation’s farmers as a strategic national asset in the global fight against climate change.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Cow parsnip

For years, I thought today’s featured plant was a European invader, but cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum) is native to most of the U.S. and Canada.

Sometimes known as common cowparsnip, these plants are easy to spot in the late spring and early summer, in part because of their large clusters of small white flowers. They also tend to be taller than anything growing nearby. (By the late summer, other woodland plants may reach similar heights.) Cow parsnip “can be found in both high quality natural areas and disturbed habitats,” but I’ve mostly seen them in the woods. I took most of these pictures near trails in Des Moines and Clive in early June.

Cow parsnip is “the native counterpart to the highly invasive non-native Giant Hogweed.” It grows taller than the non-native wild parsnip, which has yellow flowers and should be avoided unless you want to experience a horrible blistering rash.

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Democrats and Republicans start 2018 race for Iowa governor in a dead heat

Kent R. Kroeger is a writer and statistical consultant who has measured and analyzed public opinion for public and private sector clients for more than 30 years. He can be contacted at kkroeger@nuqum.com

A poll conducted exclusively for Bleeding Heartland by The Olson Kroeger Company shows the Democrats and the Republicans are in a dead heat for the Iowa governor’s race in 2018. In a generic ballot, 43 percent of respondents say they will support the Democratic nominee for Iowa governor, compared to 40 percent indicating support for the Republican nominee. About 17 percent of registered voters are undecided.

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The good, the bad, and the ugly of Iowa’s new collective bargaining law-Part III

Former teacher and retired associate executive director of the Iowa State Education Association Randy Richardson wraps up his review of teacher contract negotiations under Iowa’s new collective bargaining law. -promoted by desmoinesdem

In the first two parts of this series, we examined how Republicans changed collective bargaining for public employees and the new law’s impact on Iowa teachers.

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