OSHA inspected five Iowa meatpacking plants on site

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) staff have conducted five on-site inspections of Iowa meatpacking plans during the past six weeks, the Iowa Division of Labor confirmed to Bleeding Heartland on May 28.

According to Mary Montgomery, who works in the office of Iowa Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts, OSHA inspectors examined COVID-19 mitigation measures at the Tyson Fresh Meats pork processing plant in Waterloo on April 20, the Tyson plant in Columbus Junction on April 30, Iowa Premium Beef in Tama on May 21, the JBS pork plant in Marshalltown, also on May 21, and the Tyson plant in Perry on May 26.

Montgomery indicated that a complaint prompted the Waterloo inspection, while “media referrals” led to the others. Asked to define that term, Montgomery said either “news items reported in the media” or information relayed “directly to OSHA by a media source” had prompted the site visits. She did not specify which news reports or journalistic sources influenced OSHA staff.

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Theresa Greenfield is our choice to defeat Joni Ernst

Sue Dvorsky is a longtime Democratic activist and former state chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. -promoted by Laura Belin

About a year ago, when Theresa Greenfield announced she was running for U.S. Senate, my husband, retired State Senator Bob Dvorsky and I were proud to be a part of the very first group of nearly 20 Iowa Democratic leaders, elected officials and activists to endorse her. We were drawn to her story. We admired her grace under pressure. We clearly recognized the grit, humor, and work ethic.

U.S. Senate races aren’t like any other election. Statewide. Six years. The state of Iowa and the state of the world has changed so much in the last six years that I can barely recall what 2014 was like. But I do know this: it is imperative for the future of this state, and the future of our country, that we change the leadership and the membership of the United States Senate.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Downy yellow painted cup

Patrick Swanson features an unusual plant growing on the Harrison County prairie he is restoring. -promoted by Laura Belin

Here we are in late spring. Seeing the prairie flowers begin their parade of blooms this year has been providing me with much needed mental respite from the travails of enduring the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.  The resilience of spring flowers in the face of an ever-changing environment, and their interdependence with pollinators offer good reminders of what we should aspire to in ourselves.

Speaking of interdependence, last year I posted an essay describing the lifestyle of a late-summer blooming hemiparasitic plant found on my Loess Hills prairie called Slenderleaf false foxglove (Agalinis tenuifolia).

This year, I thought I would use my first Wildflower Wednesday post to describe another curious hemiparasitic plant living on my prairie, the almost ghostly pale-green Downy Yellow Painted Cup (Castilleja sessiliflora). Its other common names include yellow Indian paintbrush or downy paintbrush.

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Exclusive: Iowa governor denied 35 AG requests to join national cases

Governor Kim Reynolds denied 35 requests to sign Iowa on to multi-state legal actions during the first year of an unusual arrangement in which Attorney General Tom Miller ceded some of his authority.

Reynolds refused to allow the state to weigh in on lawsuits related to federal or state policies on immigration, reproductive rights, environmental regulation, consumer protection, gun safety, LGBTQ rights, and access to President Donald Trump’s personal records.

During the same time frame, the governor approved eighteen requests from Miller to join cases involving a wide range of legal matters.

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COVID-19 and 9/11

Leslie Dow: “What if just by wearing a mask and paying attention to social distancing you could save every person in the Twin Towers?” -promoted by Laura Belin

The town of Le Claire is a special place. Our amazing firefighters have an I-beam from the Twin Towers as a tribute to their service when firefighters from Scott County went to ground zero to help with rescue and recovery. They are moving the beam to an area where more people can view it, and they are asking for donations.

One comment on the page was a link to a video of the beautiful and terrible rendition of Sounds of Silence by Disturbed. The video is a series of still shots of the Towers, the survivors, and the men and women from around this country who dropped everything to help.

Moved by the song and the visuals, I felt compelled to donate.

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