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Loebsack Statement on the President’s Speech on the Islamic State PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 12 September 2014 14:29

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement this evening following the President’s speech on the Islamic State. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Loebsack has received briefings regarding the ongoing situation.

“Without question, the security situation in Iraq and Syria and the escalating threat from ISIS is a national security concern for the United States. The challenge with assessing ISIS is not whether these are evil people, because they have clearly proven they are. We have known that for a long time. I agree with the President that we must not put troops back in Iraq, but targeted air strikes may be necessary to degrade and defeat ISIS. We must do everything we can to protect the American people and our interests at home and abroad. Those who pose a real threat to Americans must know, there is no hiding from America's strength.

“The challenge that remains is whether or not certain military actions will create long-term, unintended consequences. Our foreign policy cannot be bomb first, ask questions later – that is what got us into this situation in the first place. Our allies around the world, and specifically in the region, must share this burden and work together to bolster political and economic conditions in Iraq and Syria. We cannot overcome centuries of sectarian strife with bombs alone. Ultimately the governments in Iraq and Syria must take responsibility for their own security.”


Pheasants Forever Employees in Iowa Transition to New Roles for Organization PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Bob St. Pierre   
Friday, 12 September 2014 14:05

Sytsma and Wiklund bring new ideas to their changing positions

St. Paul, Minn. – September 10, 2014 -Pheasants Forever(PF) and Quail Forever (QF) recently named Eric Sytsma of Oskaloosa, Iowa, as the organization’s new regional representative for southern Iowa. Sytsma will be replacing former regional representative, Jared Wiklund, who will transition into his new role as public relations specialist at team headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sytsma, a former Pheasants Forever Farm Bill biologist in Iowa, looks to continue the growth of Pheasants Forever’s presence in the state, which is currently home to 102 Pheasants Forever chapters, three Quail Forever chapters and more than 19,000 PF/QF members. His main role in Iowa will be supporting the extensive network of local chapters which fuel conservation initiatives across the state, and represent chapters as a liaison to local, state and federal natural resource agencies.

Working for Pheasants Forever since 2010 as a Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist, Sytsma has been instrumental in providing wildlife habitat conservation measures to farmers and landowners in southern Iowa. He is a lifelong Iowa resident and earned a bachelor of science degree in animal ecology from Iowa State University. Sytsma resides in Oskaloosa, Iowa with his wife, Jenna, one daughter and two dogs.

Starting in his new role as public relations specialist, Wiklund’s primary responsibilities include writing press releases, articles for the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever websites, and fostering relationships with outdoor media outlets and journalists. He will also serve as a spokesperson and assist in the promotion of the organization's National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic, which will be held in Des Moines on February 20, 21 and 22, 2015.

Transferring from his position of Iowa regional representative since 2010, Wiklund brings four years of valuable field experience to team headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. He currently resides in Hugo, Minnesota with his wife, Kari, one daughter and black Lab.

“Eric Sytsma and Jared Wiklund have both added passion and professionalism to the organization, and I am certain they will continue to provide outstanding customer service to chapters, agencies and media in their new roles,” commented Tom Fuller, Pheasants Forever’s north region director.

For information about Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever in Iowa or to learn about a local chapter, Eric Sytsma can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (515) 423-4747. For all other inquiries, please contact Jared Wiklund, Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever public relations specialist at (651) 209-4953 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

About Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 140,000 members and 745 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.  Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $508 million on 475,000 habitat projects benefiting 10 million acres nationwide.


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Braley-Backed, Bipartisan Anti-Spoofing Act Passes House PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Friday, 12 September 2014 08:48

In continued effort to fight for Iowa seniors, Congressman votes to prevent popular scam

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) last night voted in favor of the Anti-Spoofing Act—a bipartisan bill that would help protect Iowa’s seniors from fraud.

“Iowa seniors deserve safety and protection from predators engaged in these types of deceptive and destructive schemes,” Braley said. “The passage of this bill sends a message to the frauds engaged in this activity that they will be punished.”

After reports of caller ID “spoofing” fraud in Iowa, Braley has fought to advance this bill, which would prohibit deceptive caller ID spoofing—a popular scam that defrauds unsuspecting seniors by displaying a name or entity on caller ID that appears to be trustworthy. In April, Braley toured senior living centers in Cedar Falls, Dubuque and Clinton to discuss popular frauds targeting seniors, and how seniors can protect themselves against those frauds.

In 2009, the Truth in Caller ID Act was signed into law to prohibit caller ID spoofing when it is done to defraud or otherwise cause harm. The Anti-Spoofing Act improves, updates, and expands upon this existing law by broadening it to include text messaging and new internet-based telephone services as well as expanding the law to prevent spoofing from foreigners.

Braley has set up a Consumer Protection page on Congressman Braley’s website for constituents to read more about other deceptive and fraudulent practices and how consumers can protect themselves.

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Small-space gardening PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kyle McKean   
Friday, 12 September 2014 08:47

Whether you are planning a small urban garden, considering a vertical garden for a balcony or deck, or landscaping a parking strip, small-space gardening is a challenge. In fact, it’s one of the most common garden challenges facing home gardeners and landscapers. To ease the challenge, here are some of our small-space garden favorites:

  • Drift® Groundcover Roses: The low-spreading habit of Drift® Roses is perfect for small gardens and combination planters. They brighten borders, fill empty spaces and spread around established plants.
  • Clematis Sapphire Indigo™: This Clematis is best used as a weed-smothering ground cover with no support and allowed to sprawl through your garden or in a container. It blooms from June through September.
  • Veronica Moody Blues: The Veronica Moody Blues series is compact and has a tidy habit, making it an excellent plant for any garden or mixed container, plus there are four great colors to choose from which bloom all season!
  • Penstemon Rock Candy™: Penstemon Rock Candy™, available in two compact varieties with bold colors, stays below 12" in height and fits in well along borders and walkways or in containers.
  • Achillea Moon Dust: This is a compact yarrow with soft yellow flowers and attractive silver foliage that blends well with other colors in your garden. Its compact habit makes it a great option for container plantings.
  • Sunblaze® Miniature Roses: For rose lovers with small gardens, Sunblaze® Miniature Roses is a superb selection. Hardy and easy to grow, these compact roses bloom from spring until fall. They perform well when used as a border and are spectacular in containers. There are twelve varieties in this series to choose from.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Doesn’t Like Your Date? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 16:20
Vetting a Romantic Partner Can Be Tough – Especially When You’re Already Committed

If you’re single and in the market for romance, you probably know at least two things: Online dating is a viable and efficient way to find a potential partner, but dating sites cannot guarantee a perfect match.

While a third of all married couples started their romance online – including on social networks like Facebook, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, only 23 percent of those who went on a date through a match-making site say it resulted in a long-term relationship, according to the Pew Research Center.

“Really, that’s not a bad success rate – I imagine it beats the club scene,” says Kris Rotonda, founder and CEO of, a website devoted to singles who’ve already found their canine companions, but have yet to find true human love.

“Still, that’s a lot of scrolling and dating before you find the right one. I think it’s important to narrow the search by letting users start with what’s most important to them.”

Rotonda, who has four beloved dogs including one he’s had since age 8, says his commitment to his furry family became a problem in his dating life. He’s happy to report he has now found true love – she loves his dogs and they love her back.

What should you do if your dog doesn’t appear to like the new love interest in your life?

•  So, you’re dog reacted negatively to a girl or guy you really like … Of course, how your dog reacts matters if you love your dog, but he or she may be picking up on something that’s nonessential to the character of your date, who may be nervous, not used to dogs or simply wearing the wrong perfume or cologne that day. While dogs are very intuitive – and, you want your canine companion to get along with a potential long-term partner – realize that the chemistry can improve. Give it a little time and proactively look for ways to help your dog and your potential love interest relax and get to know each other.

•  Different reactions can have different meanings … Did she bark for several minutes? Did he run and hide under the bed? If your dog barked in what sounded like a hostile or aggressive way, she’s likely just trying to protect you. While you may have had plenty of time to get to know your date over long dinners, he or she may still be a stranger to your dog. If your dog ran and hid, he may be afraid. That doesn’t necessarily mean that his fear reflects a real threat – something rotten about your new love interest. What else was going on at the time? If a plane was flying overhead or thunder rumbling outside, that may have been the source of anxiety. Don’t try to pet or sweet talk your pet while he’s in hiding as that will encourage the behavior. Instead, reward him when he emerges.

•  Mending fences between your canine and human companion … When you are planning to re-introduce your dog to your date, start before they actually meet in person. This can be done by introducing the person's scent with an unwashed article of clothing. You can also add your scent to the clothing by rubbing it on your arm and then placing in a spot where your dog spends a great deal of time. This will help your dog get used to the person's scent over time and you are not introducing the person to your dog by invading all his senses at one time.

About Kris Rotonda

Kris Rotonda is the founder and CEO of, a website devoted to singles who’ve already found their canine companions, but have yet to find true human love. Rotonda, a competitive body builder and successful real estate agent, had experienced a number of unexpected challenges as a bachelor and dog owner and saw the need for a dating site geared toward like-minded dog lovers.

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