Monthly Archives: December 2015

Editorial: Don’t exclude 145,600 from online registration

On the face of it, Iowa’s online voter registration system, scheduled to launch next week, should make it easier to participate in elections. But legitimate concerns have been raised over the system’s potential impact on the rights of the disadvantaged, … Continue reading

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Forget job count; focus on wage theft

Set aside for a moment Beth Townsend’s indefensible defense of using politics instead of math to count jobs in her role as director of Iowa Workforce Development. (Beyond job numbers: How IWD serves Iowans, Dec. 21.) Consider, rather, how many other … Continue reading

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President signs Loebsack legislation to help critical access hospitals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack, D-IA, released the following statement this week after the President signed S. 1461 into law. Loebsack joined with Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) to introduce the House version of the legislation, which prevents Medicare’s enforcement … Continue reading

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Recycling Reminders for Holiday Waste

December 23, 2015 – Jeff Stein, Public News Service (IA) Play Audio in Browser Window The holidays generate 25 percent more waste than other times of the year, much of which can be recycled. (jackietrains/morguefile) DES MOINES, Iowa – It’s … Continue reading

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Labor History

December 24 Seventy-two copper miners’ children die in panic caused by a company stooge at Calumet, Mich., who shouted “fire” up the stairs into a crowded hall where the children had gathered.  They were crushed against closed doors when they … Continue reading

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Union Veterans Council

The holiday season is here and the New Year is nearly upon us. It’s my sincere hope that 2016 brings you and your loved ones health and happiness. The Union Veterans Council is committed to building the veteran class and … Continue reading

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Beth Townsend’s embarrassing defense of phony job numbers

“Phony number” graphic created by Dave Swenson I was encouraged when Beth Townsend became Iowa Workforce Development director early this year. The previous director, Teresa Wahlert, was one of Governor Terry Branstad’s worst appointees; I suspect her record for legal … Continue reading

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Keep Iowa Beautiful scholarships for high schoolers

Keep Iowa Beautiful is offering five $1,000 scholarships to Iowa high school seniors in 2016. Students who plan to enroll in an Iowa college or university majoring in community, sociology or environmental science-related fields are eligible to apply. Complete the … Continue reading

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Raise the wage – take this survey

The Iowa legislature hasn’t passed a minimum wage increase for nearly 9 years. It’s been so long that the iPhone didn’t even exist the last time they passed a higher minimum wage. What has increased is the cost of living … Continue reading

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Medicaid delay makes some Iowa kids’ coverage uncertain

The two month delay in Iowa’s effort to privatize management of Medicaid means that most of the 37,000 children enrolled in a special health care program must transition to a new insurance carrier Jan. 1. But some of those children may face … Continue reading

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Labor History

December 23 AFL officers are found in contempt of court for urging a labor boycott of Buck’s Stove and Range Co. in St Louis, where the Metal Polishers were striking for a 9-hour day – 1908 Construction workers top out … Continue reading

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Ombudsman’s report confirms bad atmosphere at Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown

‘More legislative oversight is needed to ensure that these and other problems don’t occur in the future’ A joint statement from Sen. Steve Sodders and Rep. Mark Smith of Marshalltown regarding investigation of Iowa Veterans Home “A thorough, independent investigation … Continue reading

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Greater opportunities for students under new education law | The Gazette

Tammy Wawro, guest columnist Dec 18, 2015 at 9:31 am Years of political wrangling have finally produced a law which creates greater opportunity for every student in our public schools, regardless of ZIP code, and ends the failures of No … Continue reading

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State tosses WellCare from Medicaid program

An appointee of Gov. Terry Branstad late Friday adopted a judge’s recommendation and terminated a multimillion-dollar contract with one of the companies selected to run the governor’s proposed privately managed Medicaid program. Iowa Department of Administrative Services Director Janet Phipps sided … Continue reading

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Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Kicks off New Season of Brotherhood Outdoors, Jan. 3

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  Paralytic hunter proves ‘you can’t keep a good hunter down’ on inspiring New Mexico bear hunt   NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 21, 2015) – The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance kicks off the eighth season of its award-winning TV series, Brotherhood Outdoors, … Continue reading

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Black Workers’ Conference

Iowa City Federation of Labor – Black Workers’ Conference In light of much-needed national attention to ongoing instances of racial injustice, many unions are engaging in new conversations on race and the role it plays in the lives of millions … Continue reading

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IBEW Toys for Tots Video

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Legislative preview forum shows what’s at stake this coming session

Funding for mental health services and education, as well as the current Medicaid privatization rush, took center stage at a public forum hosted by State Sen. Matt McCoy at the Forest Avenue Library on Saturday. Iowans gathered to hear from … Continue reading

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Labor History

December 21 Powered by children seven to 12 years old working dawn to dusk, Samuel Slater’s thread-spinning factory goes into production in Pawtucket, R.I., launching the Industrial Revolution in America. By 1830, 55 percent of the mill workers in the … Continue reading

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Iowa JobWatch: Strong month for Iowa jobs

Jobless Rate Dips Again — 3.4 Percent in November IOWA CITY, Iowa (Dec. 18, 2015) — November produced strong job gains in Iowa as payrolls grew by 8,400 jobs and the unemployment rate dipped again, to 3.4 percent, according to … Continue reading

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