Alderman Howard is too inexperienced for the position of mayor pro tem. During April 17's regular council meeting, Alderman Howard confirmed the public's worst fears about Mayor Brooke's inappropriateness in appointing someone so green.

In the midst of a declared budget crisis, the Dav- enport Community School District (DCSD) is negotiating with its union workers to cut costs. The district's proposal is asking union workers (the cooks, the clerical people, etc.

A recent edition of Now with Bill Moyers on WQPT dealt with the Presidential Records Act and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the current erosion of these crucial elements of our democracy. The FOIA was passed during Lyndon Johnson's administration, who praised it "with a deep sense of pride that the United States is an open society in which the people's right to know is cherished and guarded.

Central High School's Scholastic Journalism Week (SJW) is an imaginative program that began in 1995, thanks to the vision of Central's preeminent journalism teacher, Deb Buttleman Malcom, and her dedicated students.

The congressional investigation of the Enron debacle is frustrating, to say the least. Both House and Senate participants are clearly unqualified to probe the complex financial and political issues that characterize Enron's dirty dealings.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (IDCA) has articulated a brilliant concept in the form of a bill currently before the state legislature to provide funding for arts and culture. The IDCA is asking legislators to appropriate $1 million annually for the next 10 years to help seed a new "cultural trust" for operational support of arts/culture-related organizations throughout Iowa.

As the Enron travesty unfolds, promising to be the most diabolical and heinous corporate scandal in America's history, perhaps citizens are beginning to awaken to the corporate terror being perpetrated upon us (is it any less terrifying to have your life's savings, the resources you planned to live out your life with, wiped out by the very people you believed were protecting it?).

The Iowa legislature is considering new legislation to curb the predatory practices associated with contract home sales. There is also legislation pending to undo the damage perpetrated on Iowans in 1996, when the legislature passed a law permitting "pay day loans" that allow usury interest rates, or "fees" as they are called, to be charged to consumers who utilize the service.

The 2002 Iowa Legislative Session began Monday, January 14, in the midst of serious budget constraints. Both income- and sales-tax revenues are lower than expected, flatlining growth for the state and jeopardizing such line items as education, Medicaid, and affordable health care, to name a few.

On Christmas Eve of 2001, another dear and cherished friend of my family died, Jim Ven Horst. Jim was 88 years wonderful.

Jim wed two lovely women in his life. His first wife, Florine - with whom he had three childen, Joe, Roger, and Debbie - died almost 20 years ago.

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