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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Good morning to you!

Do you know how much one standard postage stamp costs today? I should know, but I don’t. To be honest, like many of you, I don’t use postage stamps very often anymore. And when I do, the stamps I use do not have prices on them.

Not too many years ago, stamps were clearly marked with a price on each one. Why the change?

The “Forever Stamp” was initiated in April of 2007 to avoid the headaches from using old stamps and having postage due. Forever Stamps can be used to mail one-ounce letters, regardless of when the stamps were purchased or used and no matter how prices may change in the future.

Or at least that was one explanation. The other is that prices can be raised without most people noticing. People like me.

By the way, the price of a Forever postage stamp was raised to 68 cents in January of this year, but it will be rising again, this time to 73 cents starting July 14. This is the sixth price hike since January 2021. The price has been raised 18 times since January 2000. And you thought gasoline was expensive.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service wants us to know that it is the only delivery service that visits every address in the nation. That’s 146 million homes and businesses, six days a week. The USPS has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to pay for operating expenses.

OK, that’s impressive. It really is. Even so, charging more and giving less is not a recipe for long-term business success, but collecting stamps might be.

Yes, some of you might be philatelists. It is the technical term for a stamp collector. Estimates state that more than 5 million Americans participate in the hobby. Legendary investor and prominent philatelist Bill Gross is one of them. He has apparently cobbled together the most complete collection of U.S. stamps in history, and he sold more than 100 of his rarest stamps at auction recently. For how much? The most expensive stamp he sold was an 1868 one-cent “Z Grill” featuring Benjamin Franklin for $4.4 million.

Bill Gross might be on to something. Maybe we should hang on to our Forever Stamps. Or maybe the USPS should be auctioning them to offset future postage stamp increases.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, 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.


Clear Mortgage meteorology

Scattered rain chances continue into Thursday. We get a break on Friday. More thunderstorms are possible this weekend.

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

From the June issue of CITYVIEW 

The good, the bad and the handsome

By Jim Duncan

Image courtesy of Metro Des Moines Opera

New York, New York? While righteous protesters abandoned expensive tents amid mounds of garbage at an elite university on Broadway, another wasted camp site staked claim to 50,000 square feet of prime real estate on Wall Street. There was nothing to be proud of at either place.

“October 7th 06:29 – The Moment Music Stood Still,” an exhibition about the Nova music festival in Re’im, Israel, transcended museum status to become a memorial to monstrosity. The giant show remembered the 3,000 concertgoers gathered for an event meant to last two days before veering eternal. At sunrise on that fall day, Hamas terrorists attacked the festival, killing more than 360 people and taking 44 hostages, about one-fourth of the total they murdered and captured that day.


CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The results have been tallied and published in the February issue of CITYVIEW and online!


Best New Local Bar

1. County Line Tap

2. Bix & Co.

3. Either/Or

Read all the results now!

Explore Des Moines

CITYVIEW's seasonal guide for activities and things to do in Central Iowa

EXPLORE: Walk 'n' Shop
By Cyote Williams

In the mood for strolling through a shopping district where walkability and unique storefronts abound? These junctions, villages and town centers are perfect for you.


Woebegone Wednesday. What was the price of a six pack of beer when you turned 21? Cheapism reveals the answers. They also disclose that the most expensive six packs in today's dollar values were in the early 1960s and the cheapest were just a few years ago. Who knew?

Where have you gone... Orange roughy was the darling whitefish of the late 1970s through the the 80s before fish farms found that tilapia could be raised faster and cheaper. Trostel's Greenbriar has revived orange roughy with a special through June 26 — topped with ginger and lemongrass in coconut cream sauce - $28, including soup or salad and two sides.

Sinatra haunts, part IV. Opened in 1952, a year after nuclear bomb tests began 65 miles from downtown Vegas, Atomic Liquors is now Las Vegas' oldest free-standing bar and a link to much of Sin City's legendary past. In addition to appearing in "The Twilight Zone," "Casino," and "The Hangover," Atomic has drawn performers like the Rat Pack, the Smothers Brothers and Barbra Streisand in their respective eras. Today, the bar puts an emphasis on diverse craft beers and cool cocktails like the Hunter S. Mash and the Atomic Mule. Its bathrooms have been remodeled to 1950s style and named Joe's and Stella's after the founding couple. (Cheapism)

Deals. Wednesdays bring steak night to Club 2000 (422 Indianola Road, Des Moines). Steaks are cooked to order with salad, potato and bread $14.99... AJ's at Prairie Meadows has a 12 ounce prime rib dinner special for $30 on Wednesday and Thursday only... Red Lobster (3838 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines) offers steak and a lobster tail with a side for $25 on Wednesday... Whatcha Smokin’ BBQ (403 Iowa Ave., Luther) serves fabulous brisket burnt ends as a Wednesday special... Kids eat free with every paying adult on Wednesdays at Chuck’s (3610 Sixth Ave., Des Moines)... Waterfront stores' Wednesday night special this week is soft shell crab dinners.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.

$310,000                                                             5800 S.E. 34th St., Des Moines, IA 50320

Welcome to your serene retreat. This gently lived-in walk-out ranch offers the perfect blend of comfort and tranquility, nestled against a backdrop of lush trees and a peaceful small pond. As you step inside, you'll find a spacious and inviting home featuring three bedrooms.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
SOLD: Featured commercial real estate transaction
SALE DATE: 2024-04-03
SALE PRICE: $235,000
ACRES: 0.151
From the June issue of Norwalk Living magazine

Meet Chelsea Gambrel
Introducing art students to a variety of materials

By T.K. West

Chelsea Gambrel grew up in Saylor Township and attended Saydel schools before graduating from Grand View University. After receiving a degree in art education and visual arts, she attended Eastern Illinois University where she received a master’s degree in art education.

Now, Gambrel is in her ninth-year teaching with the Norwalk Community School District. She started her first year at Oviatt Elementary and joined Orchard Hills Elementary as an art teacher when it was built in 2019.



FROM KCCI:  KCCI Investigates: Patterson city clerk served at least 7 other Iowa towns over 10 years

PATTERSON, Iowa — KCCI Investigates has uncovered the woman in charge of the city of Patterson's financial reports has a troublesome track record. Doris Loy has served as the city clerk for at least seven Iowa towns. Currently, she's the city clerk for the small town of Patterson, population 170. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Des Moines chase suspect arrested while trying to hitch a ride from crash scene, police say

DES MOINES, Iowa — Police say an Altoona man is behind bars after leading officers on a chase and later crashing into a vehicle on Tuesday. At around 10:30 a.m. a traffic officer with the Des Moines Police Department attempted to pull over a vehicle that was traveling at excessive speeds, Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department said.  ... READ MORE FROM WHO

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Advocates, law enforcement react to temporary injunction on Iowa's law criminalizing people facing deportation

The law was scheduled to be enforceable on July 1st, and now that it is temporarily not, advocates want to send a message on the impact the immigrant community has. ....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports headlines
ESPN: Legendary outfielder Willie Mays, 'Say Hey Kid,' dies at 93.  ...READ MORE 
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Roger Goodell Throws NFL Network Under the Bus During ‘Sunday Ticket’ Testimony. ... READ MORE
CBS Sports: Stanley Cup Final 2024: Connor McDavid's four-point night lifts Oilers to Game 5 win over Panthers.   ...READ MORE
1865: Abolition of slavery announced in Texas on “Juneteenth." In what is now known as Juneteenth, on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrive in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War is over and slavery in the United States is abolished. A mix of June and 19th, Juneteenth has become a day to commemorate the end of slavery in America. Despite the fact that President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued more than two years earlier on January 1, 1863, a lack of Union troops in the rebel state of Texas made the order difficult to enforce..... READ MORE
2006: Construction on Global Seed Vault begins. On June 19, 2006, on the remote island of Spitsbergen halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, the prime ministers of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland lay the ceremonial first stone of the Global Seed Vault. The vault, which now has the capacity to hold 2.25 billion seeds, is intended to “provide insurance against both incremental and catastrophic loss of crop diversity.” ... READ MORE
2013: James Gandolfini, TV’s Tony Soprano, dies at 51.  ... READ MORE
Birthdays and notables

Happy Birthday Tom Miller!

These celebrities were born on this date:  Gena Rowlands, Aung San Suu Kyi, Phylicia Rashad, Ann Wilson, Robin Tunney, Bumper Robinson, Poppy Montgomery, Meryl Streep, Alan Osmond, Zoe Saldaña, Paula Abdul, Jordan Poole, Brandon Lake, Dirk Nowitzki

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What kind of wine do they serve at the horse races? Chardo- NEIGH! - Susan Walter, Rex Post, Gail Tomlinson . Or, "Mare"lot (Merlot)! - Carolyn Rogers. Other answers by William Snyder

Today's riddle

Why can't you make a dinosaur omelet?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella or Waukee, Norwalk or West Des Moines/Jordan Creek Living magazines, contact:

Martha Munro
Account Executive
Office: 515-953-4822 ext. 314
Mobile: 515-321-5246

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