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Trails Talk 02-29-24


At the beginning of each year, the DCTB takes time to visit our partner cities and provide updates on what the previous year’s trail activities involved. We are fortunate to be a part of a very supportive community of donors and local foundations along with the cities and county that make our success possible.

Power players in Iowa Senate are aiding and abetting

The Iowa legislature is considering a bill designed to combat "organized retail theft" of property from stores. Lawmakers supporting the measure said they wanted to deter looting, which has happened in some U.S. cities.

Iowans are appalled by videos showing mobs of looters ransacking stores while owners look on helplessly and law enforcement fails to intervene, neutered by orders to stand down. We naively think such lawlessness cannot happen here – but it can – and it is.

Summit pipeline presents opportunity

I am a proud advocate for farmers and the truth. Lately, I have seen false rhetoric about a major economic opportunity for Dickinson County farmers, which is disheartening. As a firm believer that everyone has a right to their own opinions and that a certain amount of skepticism is healthy, it’s important to highlight facts, which don’t change depending on the opinion stated.

Allow me to clear up some simple misunderstandings about Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon capture pipeline.

A brief history of the Taxpayer Relief Fund

As conversations about budgets and tax cuts are now moving to the forefront of the legislative session, it is once again time to review an important factor in these discussion – the Taxpayer Relief Fund.

Bills debated on the floor

Week seven of the legislative session ushered in a week focused mainly on debate. Every day after gaveling in, both parties retire to caucus and discuss the bills at hand. This gives my colleagues and I time to review each bill the senator is managing on the floor. Doing so offers context for how this legislation will improve the state of Iowa and its residents.

Securing Iowa's valuable farmland

One of my favorite days of the entire year is the Century and Heritage Farm ceremony that takes place during the Iowa State Fair. During the all-day event in the historic Livestock Pavilion, hundreds of multi-generational farm families, many in matching t-shirts, wait their turns to proudly walk across the stage to receive recognition for owning a Century Farm (100 years) or Heritage Farm (150 years).

Q&A: Cancer Prevention Month

Q: What’s your message to Iowans during National Cancer Prevention Month?

Leading the charge to stop President Biden’s electric-vehicle mandates

In our free-market economy, Americans should have the freedom to purchase the car or truck of their choice without the federal government putting its thumb on the scale to advance a specific policy preference and distort the market. However, President Biden doesn’t see it that way.

God against God’s self for you

By Brian Jack - First Lutheran Church

In my tradition (and perhaps yours) we were recently reminded of God’s promise “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19) and had our foreheads marked with ashes in the shape of a cross. Even if that’s not your tradition, there are no shortage of these kinds of reminders in life as our bodies age. We’re all too aware that even those we would call young sometimes get sudden reminders of their mortality.

Summit project continues to grow, landowners continue to resist

And the beat goes on for those of us along the route of the CO2 pipeline proposed by Summit Carbon Solutions. It’s been around two years since most of us first heard about the project. Many aspects of the project are very concerning, and we have received little to no information to allay our fears. We continue to meet with local government officials with the hope of getting sensible setback distances from the pipeline established.

'The invisible hand of corruption'

When the wealthy and powerful demand something must be done. There will always be the invisible hand of corruption, even with our board of supervisors. What’s going on now doesn’t seem normal — almost like they’ve been groomed. How does this happen?

School safety

Over the course of the last eight months, I have been involved in helping schools to develop a school safety program of their choice. Unfortunately, the unthinkable happened shortly before our legislative session started in early January and a school shooting happened, right here in Iowa.

Moving from funnel to the floor

My third ever legislative “Funnel Week” was a full week of overseeing subcommittees, voting on bills in standing committee and getting those bills eligible for floor action and debate. The process of a bill once it is given to a standing committee, such as Judiciary, it is assigned to a group (subcommittee) of senators where it is discussed and all interested parties participate. The subcommittee then decides whether or not to advance it. This is the reason why funnel week is so busy.

We must end reckless government spending

Basic economic theory tells us that when too many dollars chase too few goods, the result is inflation. Americans don’t need to take a course in economics to understand this concept because President Biden personally delivered a real-world example. By wasting trillions of dollars – approved by Democrats in Congress – on more government programs, more red tape and more bureaucracy, President Biden created the worst inflation crisis that our nation has faced in more than 40 years.

Q&A: Why Ukraine matters

Q: Why did you support the recent national security package?

Life is not the same for everyone

By Barb Dean, Living Word Outreach Ministries - Spencer

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