Sailboats prepare to race on Lake Davenport, part of the Mississippi River near Davenport.

Another sign of spring, the white flowers of a dogwood tree.

Governor is correct: More transparency needed

Gov. Kim Reynolds talked last week about the importance of government leaders keeping other government officials looped in as decisions are made and events unfold.

The governor was more correct than she probably intended. I will get to that shortly.

But first, here is some important background on the governor’s statement — because she and I see eye to eye on this, at least as it relates to the issue that provoked her displeasure with federal officials.

Bettendorf would add three traffic roundabouts under Forest Grove Drive and Middle Road intersection plan going before city council

Bettendorf was one of the first communities in Iowa to install a traffic roundabout back in 2002.

Now nearly 20 years later, the city is planning to quadruple the number of roundabouts under a traffic plan being proposed for the congested Forest Grove Drive and Middle Road corridor.

Under the plan schedule to be reviewed Tuesday (6/1) by the city council, a new multi-lane roundabout is recommended to replace the traffic signal at the intersection of Middle Road and Forest Grove Drive as well as the planned traffic signal at Middle Road and Competition Drive.

New ALDI Food Store to join HyVee and Fareway along Bettendorf Devils Glen and Belmont corridor

A new 19,000-square-foot ALDI Food Store will soon join HyVee and Fareway grocery stores in the busy Devils Glen and Belmont corridor in Bettendorf.

The site plan for the new store will go before the Bettendorf City Council Tuesday (6/1) for approval. The store will be on the southeast corner of Devils Glen and Belmont Roads, part of what was once known as the "Golden Triangle" because of its potential for commercial development.

Disinfection treatment, flood protection required at Davenport/Bettendorf sewage treatment plant under amended consent order with Iowa DNR

Sewage from Bettendorf and Davenport will undergo enhanced treatment beginning early next year under revised terms of a consent order signed in February with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

The revised agreement establishes Feb. 28, 2022 as the deadline for adding disinfection treatment, using ultraviolet light, at the Davenport Wastewater Treatment Plant, which handles sewage from Davenport, Bettendorf, Riverdale and Panorama Park.

Cutting of unemployment benefits by Gov. Reynolds won’t solve the worker shortage in Iowa

The solution to Iowa's worker shortage isn't cutting off pandemic-related unemployment assistance.

I’ve worked almost my entire life, from collecting dimes as a small child for household chores like making my bed, to babysitting as a junior high student and summer farm work for my grandparents before I was old enough to get a “real job.”

Sometimes, there were things I’d rather be doing. In high school, I gave up basketball after my sophomore year because the varsity coach made it a requirement for the team to also run track. (He also coached the track team.) I didn’t mind the exercise but the daylong track meets would have interfered with my part-time restaurant job. It was a difficult choice, but I decided to work.

Lee reports $600,000 loss for second quarter

Lee Enterprises – owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch Argus newspapers – reported a net loss of $600,000 (6 cents per share) for the second quarter ended March 28.

The loss reflects a 16 percent decline in advertising and marketing services revenue for the period compared (on a pro forma basis) with the same three-month period a year ago.

'Big Pollution' in Iowa courtesy of Big Ag

It’s always been in the best interests of the ag industry to make nutrient pollution seem mysteriously complex.

After all, complex problems rarely lend themselves well to simple solutions. Complex problems require lots and lots of time and money to solve, and the bigger the problem, the more likely the taxpayer is going to be asked to solve it with contributions from the public coffers.

And the folks that own all this expensive farmland (worth well more than $200 billion in Iowa) surely can’t be expected to own the pollution too!

Bettendorf subdivision developer fined $6,000 by Iowa DNR to settle storm water permit violations

Ven Green Land Development LLC – developer of the Spencer Hollow residential subdivision in north Bettendorf – has agreed to pay $6,000 to settle storm water runoff permit violations that occurred in July 2020.

According to the administrative consent order issued March 9, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) received a complaint July 15 of last year alleging water in a tributary to Spencer Creek was brown from silt that had run off from the housing subdivision.

Education department expertise loses out to political power in school voucher legislation

The Iowa Department of Education has 220 staff members and a budget of more than $10 million. But it has zero independence or political power.

That's why school legislation in Iowa is driven by the political agenda of the governor, Republican Party leaders and this year, by the Americans for Prosperity, a right wing organization funded largely by the Koch brothers, and Betsy DeVos, ex-head of the Trump administration's education department.

Iowa's ag college experts on nutrient reduction say their role is to educate, not regulate farm operations

Mandating measures to control and reduce chemical pollution from farm fields should begin, University of Iowa water quality researchers say.

But, don't expect Iowa's land-grant agricultural institution – Iowa State University – to join the call for regulation or any government measures to limit the use of fertilizer on ag land.

Researchers at the University of Iowa Hydroscience and Engineering Department have been analyzing farm field runoff of nitrogen and phosphorus for decades.

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