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Supreme Court says confidentiality for police files isn't absolute

The Iowa Supreme Court delivered an important and unanimous decision on April 5 on the issue of public access to law enforcement investigative files.
But, the exact ramifications of the decision remain a matter of conjecture.
Read the rest of this editorial in the May 16 Kossuth County Advance.

Democrat leader: house fell short

The 2019 Iowa Legislture adjourned at the end of April. When session began back in January, I shared our goals for the year to put politics aside, work together, and stay focused on improving the lives of everyday Iowans.
As leader of the Iowa House Democrats, I pledged to work in good faith with the majority party to solve the problems we face. I also challenged lawmakers to face the toughest issues before us in a collaborative, meaningful way.
So, how did it go?

Visiting the history of the Roosevelts

Having visited the Roosevelt family's 34-room summer cabin on Campobello Island, we wanted to see their home on the Hudson River near Hyde Park, N.Y.
Witnessing all that wealth made us wonder where it came from. It did not just happen; the Roosevelts, who were colonists in the 17th century, were industrious and thrifty, building wealth by importing sugar from the West Indies, selling dry goods and investing in Manhattan real estate.

Of time warps and adventures

Once again I find myself in a time warp.
I'm writing this before I leave for California to celebrate grandson Dylan's seventh birthday. However, you will be reading this (at least I hope somebody reads this) after I have returned. So, I'm left with the dilemma of whether to write in the past tense or the future tense.
Oh bother.
Read Molly's Ink Spots in the May 9 Kossuth County Advance.

A Texas idea on roads

The Iowa Legislature's efforts to limit property tax revenue growth depends on one large variable – taxpayers.
You know – you.
Read Brad's On the Side column in the May 9 Advance.

A bill that won't help...

The Iowa Legislature wrapped up its 2019 session last weekend. One of its final acts was passing a bill that will force cities and counties to take extra action if they want to raise property taxes by more than 2 percent. The new law was passed by the Republican majority, and Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, intends to sign it.

Of lullabies sung softly, lovingly

Our children tell me often that I scarred them for life.
When they were little, one of the lullabies I sang to them was "Go tell Aunt Rhody."
Read Molly's Ink Spots in the April 26 Advance.

Buried on the front page

Here's a comment and/or question that came to us with a payment:
"Funny how the Kossuth County Advance placed the turbine article right on top of the trespassing article in the April 11 paper. Trying to stomp out negative media coverage of the turbines? Looks like it to me."
Uh, no.
Get the whole editorial in the April 25 Kossuth Coutny Advance.

K/PACEDC celebrates 20 years of summer intern program

Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation is preparing for its 2019 summer intern program for students who have graduated from high school and are enrolled in college.
This year's program marks the 20th anniversary of the K/PACEDC Summer Intern Program which began in 1999.
Read the entire guest editorial in the April 18 Advance.

Comb over vs. pencil neck

I cannot remember the first time I found myself at home on a weekday and witnessed the parade of humanity that took the stage on Jerry Springer's television show. Crediting Jerry Springer for mainstreaming weird isn't exactly fair. For sure, people have been weird for most of time. But, as one guy once told me: "Brad, we all have dirty laundry, but we don't need to air it in the front yard."

Displays note April is Sexual abuse awareness month

What were you wearing?
It's a question people as of survivors of sexual assault all too often. It's a question wrought with victim-blaming that implies that maybe survivors could have prevented their assault if they had worn something less revealing or less sexy.
Read the whole letter to the editor in the April 4 Kossuth County Advance.

California weather, rattlesnakes

I've probably mentioned a time or 20 that Bing and I have five children. They are, of course, quite exceptional, or, as Garrison Keillor would say, above average. Three of said children live in sunny California. The other two are brave Midwesterners, residing in Minnesota and Iowa.

Swamped by inaction

Rolling through a wide lowland created over the centuries by its meandering waters, the Missouri River is the poor man's Mississippi. While its trek is longer by 20 miles, no one associates the term mighty with the Missouri – except those who wind up in its flood-prone path.
For the second time in eight years, Iowans and Nebraskans are fighting what was thought to be a 500-year flood.
Read Brad's entire column in the March 28 Advance.


Once upon a time in a land far away, I was the editor of a weekly newspaper that learned all three members of the local board of supervisors had a meeting with a county Farm Bureau board of directors. The Farm Bureau board in that particular county carried a lot of clout, and the board of supervisors was invited to attend to hear some ideas. No agenda was published. No minutes were taken. It was purely by a slip of the tongue that our newspaper learned about the meeting.

Tackling disasters: Practice makes perfect

There is no such thing as a perfect emergency. I doubt any of us has ever woken up to greet the day and thought it was an ideal time for a tornado, a flood, a snow storm or a chemical spill.
Part of the reason these events are so difficult is because they catch us unawares.
Read the entire guest editorial in the March 14 Advance.

Getting to the Atlantic shoreline

It was a bright, sunny and pleasant day after the wild and windy night.
Driving at a leisurely pace, we followed the road up, down and around — past bay areas, rivers and lake shores, through forests and small farming areas: scenic.
There is a lot to see, do and learn in Nova Scotia. With its many provincial parks and historic sites, we needed to pick and choose our stops.
Read more of Jim's Travel Diary in the March 7 Advance.

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