Recent Stories

Evans: Governor is right that we need more transparency

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. Reynolds was talking about the federal government’s secret chartered flight with migrant children from California that landed in Des Moines in the middle of the night on April 22.

Sexual identity: Glossary of terms

Here are terms and meanings to different sexual identities. Ace: Someone who identifies as asexual. Aromatic: Someone who is not romantically attracted to anyone and have no desire for a romantic relationship. Asexual: Someone who does not experience sexual attraction to others. Biromantic: Someone who is romantically attracted to multiple genders.

Iowa solar installers forced to adapt as lawmakers let solar tax credit expire

Iowa solar installers say the expiration of a state solar tax credit could make solar panels a tougher sell for residential and small business customers. The Iowa Legislature adjourned last month without extending the state’s popular solar tax credit, which is scheduled to sunset at the end of the year. 

The program has had a growing waitlist in recent years as demand has outstripped a $5 million annual cap put in place by lawmakers. More than 750 customers who have already applied are now unlikely to receive the incentive. 

The program’s future was unclear for years, and some solar installers had already started to change their sales pitches to customers, emphasizing benefits such as self-sufficiency and resilience instead of long-term cost savings. “Now, we just talk up the benefits of the system,” said Andrew Fisher, a solar energy specialist with 1 Source Solar. “It’s more about creating energy on your own and energy security.

Evans: Americans deserve answers, not more politics

Plenty of stray thoughts have been swirling through my noggin lately. Thoughts like: What would Americans and members of Congress think today if the federal government decided against creating the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John Kennedy? What would we think today if the House and Senate two decades ago rejected an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the aborted airliner attack on either the White House or Capitol? What would Americans and members of Congress think if the government refused to convene a special commission after World War II to investigate the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?

State parks ‘couldn’t function without volunteers’

Barbara Lee of Council Bluffs took her daughter to Lake Manawa State Park’s playground in the early 1990s. Now she’s able to watch her granddaughter play in an updated version in Dreamland Park. The 18,000-square-foot playground, which opened in 2018, cost $1.3 million to produce. More than 1,200 volunteers from ages 3 to 88 took part in making the project possible; it replaced a wooden playground from 1992. A team of civic leaders drove the million-dollar mission, obtaining several $100,000 grants and assisting in construction.

Campground reservations ‘a shot in the dark’

Iowa’s state park campgrounds reservations are largely filled up on weekends in June and July, just as the unofficial kickoff to summer and camping season hits Monday, Memorial Day. This is the situation at most of the 72 campgrounds listed on the Department of Natural Resources website, according to an IowaWatch review Wednesday of each location. DNR counts more than 4,500 campsites. In 2020, Iowans flocked to state parks when many sought the outdoors for COVID-19-safe activities. In fact, 2020 set a record for park visitors with 16.6 million, according to the DNR.