Laura Belin

I appreciate the info on this flower, which I don't know well. I've seen it growing in a rather wet area but on poor soil -- though it's interesting that we, in books and papers and general language, use "poor" rather than a more neutral term. We think of soil in terms of what most of our crops like best. But for many kinds of plants, "poor" soil is wonderful soil.
Disclaimer: I have no personal or inside knowledge of the expenditure plans of the Wilburn campaign. That said, I can tell you that they or the IDP has already sent one mass mailing of absentee ballot request forms. They also printed a batch of doorknocking lit. Both of these expenditures were committed before the filing deadline. Somebody has to pay the bills for those printings, even if the election is uncontested. Moreover, it would neither surprise nor disappoint me to find that the donation I made yesterday—after the filing deadline passed—was used to pay for an additional mailing or two before the special election. As I argued before, making an investment this year in raising Wilburn’s profile and name recognition can easily pay dividends when he has to run again next year. We all know that campaigns are too expensive, but in truth $10,000 is just a drop in the bucket compared to what a fully contested campaign would cost. If spending that amount this year avoids a much bigger expense later on, it is money well spent. Somewhere not too long ago I read some justifiable criticism that House Dems weren’t doing a very good job at raising money in that district. ( If they’re working harder at that now, shouldn’t we be cheering them on?
Guess what Iowa's leading industry is? Agriculture? No. It's Insurance & Finance. Wellmark, alone, employs over 1700 people directly, plus any number of independent agencies, contract employees, etc., in professional positions at decent wages, salaries and benefits. It is easy for candidates who have employed few, if any, people themselves, let alone even worked in the private sector, to talk about eliminating an entire industry. But consider the consequences. From Omaha, Nebraska to Columbus, Ohio runs a midwest insurance and finance corridor employing thousands of professionals, many young, and all of whom Iowa and other midwest states desperately need to retain. As soon as those idealistic kids figure out their beloved Bernie or loquacious Liz mean to eliminate - not some nameless, faceless corporate monstrocity - but their own livelihoods and one of the very few thriving 21st century industries in the area, they'll balk. I am for a single payor system. More accurately, I believe medicine ought to be seen as a public utility. Nobody blinks an eye at municipal water, or highly regulated and centrally managed electrical generation and distribution. But somehow medicine has inappropriately fallen into profit-making hands. But to unravel that will take time, planning and political foresight so as not to completely decimate one of the chief economic underpinnings of the state of Iowa, our neighboring states and the country as a whole.
With all the definite invasive exotics to deal with in original and planted prairies, I've arbitrarily decided that yarrow is native enough to leave alone and appreciate. These photos also remind me that too many news stories in Iowa, when talking about prairies, still use the term "prairie grasses" when what they mean is "prairie plants." Few Iowa prairie plantings these days include only grasses, which is welcome progress from thirty years ago. And original prairies never contained only grasses. Probably the best phrase would be "prairie grasses and flowers," and I hope that will become standard in the future.
Hy-Vee | Rated: Up
Troy, the reason why Hy-Vee may be the only grocery store in most communities is because it ran competitors out. Super Value was once a strong competitor, but Hy-Vee opened 24-hours and cut prices until Super Value could no longer compete. Then, Hy-Vee closed at 11:00 pm and prices never fell as often. The inner-city Hy-Vee closed. It expanded in better neighborhoods and suburbs. There are many reasons why Hy-Vee is the sole grocery/liquor/florist/etc. in many towns. They drove out independent businesses.
I work in DMPS as a teaching artist (not a classroom teacher) and in the past 5 years I have witnessed serious diminution of services for ESL, arts and general student well-being. Not because of bad teachers but because of a serious lack of resources perpetrated by TB and eloquently stated above. Many of you have probably already raised your own kids (as have I) but if we don't raise our voices and up our presence, the results will be something nobody counted on. We are a community and it looks like Reynolds, DeVos and state repubs are hoping you won't stop to consider how connected we all are. Don't be complacent! The degradation of public commons can't be allowed to proceed much further or we will become something like south carolina. No thanks.
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