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Thursday, Jan. 19, 2024
Good morning to you!

Welcome to the Friday mailbag where you will find some of the comments, questions and ideas sent recently by subscribers of this newsletter or our publications. They are edited for space and clarity.

“You missed a couple (Words, Jan. 10, 2024). Where do you get a drink of water — the drinking fountain, the water fountain, the water cooler, or the bubbler? When you have these vegetables for dinner, are they green beans, string beans or snap beans? Are your grocery store purchases in a paper sack or a paper bag? (This is not as relevant with plastic, but are those sacks or bags?) What do you call a large pan to fry chicken — a skillet or a spider? When you want to get rid of stuff, do you have a yard sale, garage sale, tag sale or something else?” - Lori

You had me thinking about my choice of words on all of those — except the spider. That’s a new one to me. - Shane

“I very much enjoyed today’s column (Words, Jan. 10, 2024). It reminded me of my grandma referring to her wallet as her ‘pocketbook.’ ” - S. Hill

How big did their pockets have to be back then? - Shane

“I enjoyed, and wholeheartedly agree with, your comments in the January 2024 edition of CITYVIEW (Who will CITYVIEW endorse for public office?, CITYVIEW, January 2024). I agree that it is more difficult than ever to persuade people about ANYTHING. One of the things I enjoy most about CITYVIEW is that political content is minimal. Sometimes you just want to see what's going on in your community without hearing about everything being Donald Trump or Kim Reynold's fault. I think you are on the right track and should try to avoid political content throughout the magazine, year-round. Thanks, and keep up the great work!” - Adam

Thanks, Adam. As long as I own CITYVIEW, it will have a mix of views and opinions in arts, entertainment, food, drink, music, movies, books, theatre, politics and more. After all, “view” is part of our name. - Shane

“Hi, Shane! A couple more I thought of right away (Words, Jan. 10, 2024). When you drive to Omaha, do you take the highway? Or freeway? Or interstate? When you have to excuse yourself, do you go to the bathroom, restroom or washroom?” - Pete

As long as you don’t excuse yourself on the interstate, I think you will be OK. - Shane

“It may be sensitivity to barometric pressure or something (the psychology of dealing with snow, Friday mailbag, Jan. 12, 2024). I find that I get so overwhelmed, I can’t work or sleep fully during intense weather phenomena. I don’t know really how to describe it.” - Donna

The psychology of it is interesting, to say the least. For every person who shuts down because of winter weather, another is fully energized by it. - Shane

Have a fantastic Friday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

See Shane Goodman's previous columns here.

Video brings firefighters’ lacking cancer insurance coverage to light

By Cyote Williams

A video on the Des Moines Firefighters Facebook page that depicts the story of several firefighters and their battles with cancer has gone viral. The video has had more than 55,000 views in recent days. CITYVIEW spoke with Des Moines Firefighter Jason Mason, who runs the department's social media and put together the videos to help address the lacking cancer insurance coverage.

Upon showing the videos to his supervisors, Mason said they decided the best way to use them was to enact change.

“I did the film portion and then passed the baton on to the supervisors, focusing on how we can use them to make a positive change,” said Mason.

The video, posted Jan. 8, includes the story of Mike Broderick, who died from liver cancer at age 51 this past weekend. Broderick was a prominent figure within the Des Moines Fire Department. His death affected many in the community, but it might also affect some positive change.

“To lose him was a tremendous loss on the fire department. It does open up a lot of people’s eyes as to why certain cancers are covered and others aren't,” said Mason. “Iowa only has 13 cancers covered out of 200. As firefighters we are going into environments that are much different than 20, 30, 40 years ago. Everything's plastic; that stuff burns at a much higher temp and gives off gasses. We're wearing masks, but that stuff is still on our gear, and we bring that gear back to the station, and now it's in our home. We do our best to clean and decontaminate it, but there's only so much you can get out.”

Mason added that, 10-12 years ago, when the firefighters agreed to the plan currently in place, the legislature picked and chose what they wanted covered.

“It’s partially our fault. We were just happy to get what we got, but now we’re being left behind,” said Mason.

He told CITYVIEW the proposal they plan to bring will change the current language to say ALL cancers will be covered for the Des Moines Fire Department.

According to data from the Preventative Diagnostic Center, firefighters have a 9% higher risk of a cancer diagnosis and a 14% higher risk of dying from cancer than the general population.

The fire department has created some of their own changes. In 2021, Fire Station 11 was built on the northeast side of Des Moines and came equipped with advanced elements to help them with decontamination from hazardous environments and substances. Mason says, while techniques and technology are improving, their biggest focus remains on the health of the firefighters.

“The biggest thing is bringing awareness and trying to get these guys covered. We're working on new things every day, from decontamination to how to clean your gear, etc. Mainly, it’s how we can go forward so we don’t lose more people,” said Mason.

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Colder temperatures will be with us through Saturday. The warm-up begins Sunday, and we’ll see with those warmer temperatures and rain chances next week.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The polls have closed and a record number of readers have cast their votes in the latest CITYVIEW'S Best Of Des Moines readers' poll — the metro's original and largest poll of its kind.
Winners will be announced in the February 2024 issue of CITYVIEW!
Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
3804 Forest Ave.,
DesMoines, IA 50311
Step right up onto the inviting front porch perfect for the upcoming warmer days and then make your way inside this 1,500 square foot, 3 Bedroom, 2 Full Bath, two story home! From the entry way you may either make your way up to the second floor of 3 Bedrooms with large closets and a Full bath or make your way to the cozy living room with built-in shelves and electric fireplace.
See More Homes For Sale

Okoboji Writers Retreat adds song writing 
Now in its fourth year, this September event features writers from across America while attendees range from experienced writers seeking to hone their craft further to those dipping their toes in the creative waters. Afterglow reviews rave about what all get from this three-day immersion in the beautiful setting of Iowa's Great Lakes. The songwriting segment will feature children's song superstar Justin Roberts from Chicago and a legion of national, regional and Iowa Hall of Famers, household names, covering jazz, blues, folk, country, rock and rap. Learn more and register (while availability remains - this event sells out).

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! - It's back
Des Moines Performing Arts. "Mamma Mia!” Jan. 23-28. 

Heritage Art Gallery. "artists as mode, model as artist." Now through Feb. 15. For this solo exhibition at the Polk County Heritage Gallery, local photographer Brittany Brooke Crow draws inspiration from her experience modeling for drawing classes. Her recent fragmentary self-portraits explore themes of intimacy, gender and queerness.

— John Busbee, The Culture Buzz

Weekly fuel prices

The price of regular unleaded gasoline fell 4 cents, averaging $2.73 across Iowa according to AAA. Prices fell 4 cents from last week’s price and are down 46 cents from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.09, up 1 cent from last week’s price.

Retail diesel prices in Iowa fell 1 cent this week with a statewide average of $3.59. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $4.17 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 35 cents lower than the national average of $3.94.

Wholesale ethanol held steady and is currently priced at $2.16.

Propane prices averaged $1.56 per gallon statewide.

Home heating oil prices averaged $2.83 per gallon statewide.

Natural gas prices fell 19 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $2.83/MMbtu.


We told you yesterday about "New Orleans" wings, which are a huge thing in China but unknown in New Orleans. For context,  Philadelphia cream cheese hails from New York according to Kraft/Heinz, and Swedish meatballs came from Turkey. General Tso’s chicken is unknown in China and was probably invented in New York City. (WSJ)

Thailand's Bureau of Tourism announced this week that it will emulate Japan's very successful rural tourism promotions. Think about that Travel Iowa. We don't have to pretend we aren't a rural state. There are lots of city folk who just might like to spend their vacations on farms. (Newsroom Tokyo)

It's soup season at Eastside Eddie's (3517 E. 26th St., Des Moines) and Friday brings a seafood bisque special.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: No swan song: Bird saved after becoming frozen in Iowa lake

CLARION, Iowa — A swan found frozen in an icy Iowa lake is recovering after being rescued by conservation officers. The swan's feet and wings were frozen to the ice at Lake Cornelia near Clarion when two Wright County Conservation officers got to it on Wednesday....READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Body found after fire is extinguished on east side of Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines Police Department and Fire Department are investigating after a body was found during a response to a commercial fire Thursday afternoon...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Preston Walls, convicted Starts Right Here shooter, sentenced to 65 years in prison

Walls' trial wrapped up in September 2023 after eight days of testimony and cross-examination.....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date: Bitsie Tulloch, Damien Chazelle, Dewey Bunnell, Dolly Parton, Drea de Matteo, Jeff Pilson, Jeff Van Gundy, Jodie Sweetin, Logan Lerman, Shaunette Renee Wilson, Taylor Bennett, Tippi Hedren, Shawn Johnson

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

Why did the police officer cry after making the arrest? IT WAS A MOVING VIOLATION! - Kris Hazelton, Gail Tomlinson

Today's riddle

What do you call a doctor who fixes websites?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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