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Editorial

Conservation efforts get a big boost

Clean, safe water is important to all living things.Consequently, it's very good news that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has announced that nine new Urban Conservation Water Quality Initiative Demonstration Projects located all across Iowa have been selected to receive ...

California has a critical water problem

Climate change has been blamed by some for all sorts of evils. Alarmists have taken to claiming any undesirable weather is a result of global warming.Now, California's water crisis is being blamed on climate change. Specifically, a long drought is cited. Never mind that scientists note such ...

National Parks are hugely important

When Americans want to impress foreign guests, we sometimes take them to national parks. It often works; people from abroad frequently are awed by the natural beauty and historic significance of our many parks - and impressed that we as a people have preserved them.But often, we seem more ...

Easter offers a message of hope

Having commemorated the sorrow of Good Friday, Christians the world over today are contemplating the joy of another Easter morning with the message of victory over death and despair.The celebration of the resurrection of Christ is a time of renewal and a reaffirming of faith in him who rose to ...

Railroads have untapped potential

For many years, energy conservation campaigns have been considered very "green" - that is, good for the environment. Yet the United States may be missing the train, literally, in an important way of reducing energy use.That's why a new bill that has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to promote ...

Iran’s Middle East influence is growing

Some analysts believe that Iran poses a greater threat to Americans than do Islamic State terrorists. They point out that while the IS murderers certainly are vicious, they lack the medium-range missiles in Tehran's arsenal - and the nuclear weapons Iran seems on the threshold of developing if ...

An ally says ‘thank you’ to America

Too often, American service men and women make great sacrifices for seemingly unappreciative people in foreign countries. And too many of our tax dollars are spent defending countries that rely on the United States rather than their own resources. And regularly, Americans  both those who go ...

Yemen developments raise questions

In January, President Barack Obama referred to U.S. anti-terrorism efforts in Yemen as a "model" for avoiding massive deployments of American troops.In recent days, however, U.S. personnel were evacuated from Yemen. The country had become too dangerous because of an Iranian-backed insurgency ...

This measure must be approved

Of course, Congress should approve a measure to prevent steep cuts in amounts the Medicare program would pay health care providers. And of course President Barack Obama should sign it into law.Otherwise, many doctors and other health care professionals will stop accepting Medicare patients. ...

Visits to nation’s capital produce results

Visiting our nation's capital is always an adventure.Walking the hallways where history was made and continues to unfold is seductive for even the most jaded among us. One cannot help but be impressed - and maybe made a bit uneasy - by the massive bureaucracy at the governmental heart of the ...

Follow the letter and the spirit of the law

Any meeting with three or more of the Webster County Supervisors is subject to Iowa's open meeting law.In addition to posting a meeting notice at least 24 hours in advance, the law requires that a tentative agenda be provided for any meeting.Following the letter of the law is relatively ...

Rival budget plans have shortcomings

Republicans in Congress are being criticized by liberals for a budget proposal that makes relatively modest cuts in federal spending.In response, Democrats in the House of Representatives have introduced a budget bill almost identical to what President Barack Obama proposes. It makes virtually ...

U.S. should treat Israel with respect

American officials often intervene in the internal affairs of other countries, usually while insisting no such thing is happening. Often, such activities are aimed at undermining unfriendly governments.It comes as no surprise, then, that President Barack Obama's administration attempted to ...

Area heroes deserve strong praise

People whose positive actions go far beyond the ordinary warrant particular praise. That's why the American Red Cross launched what has become an annual tribute to individuals who accomplish the remarkable.At the Heroes of the Heartland event, Tuesday at Willow Ridge Restaurant and Golf Course, ...

Gift makes new auditorium possible

Finding the funds to turn worthwhile projects from dreams into realities is a challenge for towns of all sizes. Small communities in rural Iowa often have to forgo or delay such undertakings because the money simply cannot be found to pay for them.Fortunately, generous people often step forward ...

New EPA target may hurt farmers

Farmers are in the Environmental Protection Agency's crosshairs now. Unless more Americans wake up to the consequences of the agency's strategy of using disinformation to divide and conquer, many families who till the land will become victims.Ohio Farm Bureau members attending an event in ...

Not exactly an ‘era of open government’

Early in his presidency, Barack Obama pledged it would "usher in a new era of open government." His administration has done just the opposite.Government is more secretive than ever. The policy is pursued even when officials know they are breaking the law.Federal law requires that government ...

It’s time for spring and farming

Agriculture is at the very heart of life in the Hawkeye State and especially so as spring unfolds. The renewal of the earth is also a time when the pace quickens on Iowa's 88,000 farms.According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture a huge portion ...

ACA fines may affect millions across U.S.

Millions of Americans already have learned that?the Affordable Care Act is hazardous to their financial health. Now, as federal income tax returns are being prepared, as many as 4 million more may find the law taking a bite out of their bank accounts.From provisions harmful to small employers ...

We need, open transparent government

Below are a few examples of "winners" and "sinners" in the area of open, transparent government.Winners Retired Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw, who set out to improve openness and transparency in the department when she took the helm in 2007. During her tenure as Chief she increased ...