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Thursday, June 27, 2024
Good morning to you!

Welcome to another edition of the 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.

“Your columns always bring a smile to my face… and a few chuckles. Thanks for starting my days off with a smile and laugh.” - Pat

I am glad you are smiling, Pat. Keep it up. - Shane

“I can't fold a fitted sheet either (Clothes lines, June 17, 2024). My wife can do it as easily as I can throw a lone sock into a drawer.” - Brad

We should see if any of our lone socks match. - Shane

“Good morning, Shane. I agree with you and the Surgeon General, but I don't think it's just children and young adults (Social media warnings, June 18, 2024). I know grown individuals at the work place who are glued to their phones, and work is suffering. I've seen people have visitors in their home to see them and they are looking at their phones during the visit or pick it up several times during the visit. It's an epidemic. A scary one, because they don't see a problem. Thank you for bringing up this topic.” - Sonia

I am sometimes guilty on this one, too. Many of us could use the warning. - Shane

“Hi, Shane, I want to suggest you look at the tags on your pillows more closely (Social media warnings, June 18, 2024). My pillows have tags that say, ‘Under Penalty of Law this tag not to be removed EXCEPT by the consumer.' Once you have control of the pillow and have paid for it, you can remove the tag without fear. Enjoy your pillows!” - Jean

I’m not taking any chances. - Shane

“Shane, I recall one of the main reasons given for the first Forever Stamps was to avoid having to print and sell 1-cent stamps that people would buy to add to existing stamps printed at the old price to have current postage (Postage stamps, June 19, 2024). As it has turned out, we use so few stamps anymore that Forever Stamps actually was a good way to get us to pay it forward.” – Chuck

Paying it forward? To the USPS? I guess that’s one way to look at it. I wonder how many people still have some of those 1-cent stamps? - Shane

Have a thoughtful Thursday, 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

Nice weather continues through today, with storm chances returning this evening into Friday. Friday evening through Monday looks dry at this point… nice weekend ahead.

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 



How long after construction ends does the DOT have to remove road construction signs?
We asked Scott Nixon, District Construction Engineer at the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), who said:

“Our standard specification on traffic control devices for the Iowa DOT does not give a set time frame for when devices are to be removed. The specification simply states the following: When traffic control devices are no longer needed, remove them.”

When reached out to on this matter, several DOT employees said


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


Best Local Bar (Overall)

1. Iowa Distilling Company

2. The Bartender’s Handshake

3. Lynn’s on Merle Hay

Read all the results now!

Explore Des Moines

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

EXPLORE: Attractions

By Cyote Williams

Central Iowa is full of historical gems that mark the history, pride and essence of the state — and all are well worth a visit.


Food growers vs USDL. As we have been telling you, the U.S. Department of Labor declared war on Iowa independently owned restaurants, but not restaurants in 14 other states so far, over labor laws that differ from federal laws. This very activist DOL is also now at war with fruit growers in the south, enacting, without Congressional approval, new labor laws on behalf of immigrant workers but not native ones. Here is what Fruit Growers News wrote:  "During the New Deal, Congress gave some employees the right to form labor unions through the National Labor Relations Act, but it explicitly excluded farm workers from the right to form unions and has continued to do so for nearly 90 years. Now, without any signal of approval from Congress, the Department of Labor is taking unprecedented steps to create rights Congress did not intend. Under a new agency rule, the Department is requiring agricultural employers to allow temporary foreign farm workers to form unions, creating a new right out of thin air that is not even granted to American farm workers.

Barack Obama, craft beer master. Barack Obama, not Tom Jefferson, was the first president to brew beer in the White House in 2011, using honey from the White House gardens to produce White House Honey Brown Ale. Later, he released his recipes. 

Deals. Thursday means Tito’s (3916 Urbandale Drive, Urbandale) martinis and cosmos are just $6 and can be paired with half-priced firecracker shrimp, fried calamari, spread platters and fried pickles... Kids eat free at Scornovacca’s (1930 S.E. 14th St., Des Moines) on Thursdays... Mariscos El Pirata (6050 S.E. 14th St., Des Moines) offers $2 off all sushi on Thursdays... Sirloin steak dinners are featured specials today at Sully's Irish Pub (860 First St., West Des Moines), Front Row (9956 Swanson Blvd, Clive), Winn’s Pizza and Steakhouse (122 W Ashland Ave., Indianola),  and Sprockets (2314 University Ave., Des Moines)... Irina's Steak and Seafood has a New Orleans dinner special tonight with live jazz and five creative courses for $70, with live lobster as an option on the main course... It's Drake Night at the I Cubs game. Come early and meet the coaches all you Bulldogs. 
 — Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

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

$675,000                                                             11056 Cleveland Trl, Norwalk, IA 50211

Country dream living at its best with this beautiful 1.5 story situated on 2+ acres with 3,800 square feet of finish. From the covered front porch, you'll enter the great room with 12-foot ceilings, transom windows, wood-burning fireplace, gourmet kitchen with center island, granite counters, walk-in pantry and large dining area leading to the 12 by 14 foot composite deck.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
SOLD: Featured commercial real estate transaction
SALE DATE: 2024-04-11
SALE PRICE: $2,379,000
ACRES: 0.984
From the June issue of Urbandale Living magazine

Pickard name Christian Teacher of the Year
Biblical integration key to studies at Des Moines Christian.

By T.K. West

Des Moines Christian educator Julie Pickard is a recent recipient of the Herzog Foundation’s 2024 Christian Teacher of the Year Award. Pickard was nominated for the award by two of her colleagues. From there, the application process involved writing essays about innovation in the classroom and Biblical worldview integration, completing a video interview, and submitting letters of recommendation. In the end, the foundation chose 12 out of 700 applicants from around the country to receive the award.

“It’s an incredible honor to be named Teacher of the Year by the Herzog Foundation. Herzog seeks to catalyze and accelerate quality Christ-centered education across the country, and this recognition will certainly be a highlight of my career,” Pickard said. “I’m thankful to so many mentors, teachers, friends and colleagues who have helped me to this point in my teaching journey, and I’m excited to represent both DMC and our broader community through this award.”



FROM KCCI: Saylorville Lake has plenty of room to hold northwest Iowa floodwater from the Des Moines River

SAYLORVILLE LAKE — On Wednesday, officials lowered the forecast high water crest by about about two feet at Saylorville Lake. Earlier this week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicted a water level of 877 feet above sea level by July 6. Now that level is down to 875 feet. Still, lake managers say there is plenty of space to hold flood water.   ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Man placed hidden camera in West Des Moines Target changing room, police say

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — A Johnston man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly placing a digital camera, disguised as a pen, in the dressing room of a West Des Moines Target store. Blake Devens, 25, was booked into the Polk County Jail just before 6:00 p.m. on one charge of camera/electronic surveillance devices – trespass 1st offense.  ... READ MORE FROM WHO

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Gas, electric services cut off for Humboldt residents

Heavy rainfall flooded the Des Moines River in Humboldt County. Now at about 16 ft. deep, the river will flood another half foot by early Thursday morning. ....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports headlines
ESPN: Sources: OG Anunoby to sign 5-year, $212.5M deal with Knicks  ...READ MORE 
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Georgia Pulls Off Huge Upset of Portugal at Euro 2024 ... READ MORE
CBS Sports: Ranking rookie WRs by who will be the most productive in 2024: Placing Marvin Harrison Jr., Rome Odunze, more.   ...READ MORE
1950: President Truman orders U.S. forces to Korea. On June 27, 1950, President Harry S. Truman announces that he is ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea. The United States was undertaking the major military operation, he explained, to enforce a United Nations resolution calling for an end to hostilities, and to stem the spread of communism in Asia.  ... READ MORE
1844: Religious founder Joseph Smith killed by mob. Joseph Smith, the founder and leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more commonly known as Mormonism), is murdered along with his brother Hyrum when a mob breaks into a jail where they are being held in Carthage, Illinois. ... READ MORE
1976: Ebola breaks out in Sudan. A factory storekeeper in the Nzara township of Sudan becomes ill on June 27, 1976. Five days later, he dies, and the world’s first recorded Ebola virus epidemic begins making its way through the area. By the time the epidemic is over, 284 cases are reported, with about half of the victims dying from the disease.   ... READ MORE
Weekly fuel report

The price of regular unleaded gasoline rose 13 cents, averaging $3.31 across Iowa according to AAA. Prices are down 5 cents from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.49, up 4 cents from last week’s price.

Retail diesel prices in Iowa fell 1 cent this week with a statewide average of $3.51. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $3.64 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 30 cents lower than the national average of $3.81.

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

Natural gas prices fell 12 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $2.76/MMbtu.

Birthdays and notables

Correction: Happy Birthday yesterday to Gary Walljasper! Brooke Pulliam's birthday is July 26.

These celebrities were born on this date: Khloé Kardashian, Tobey Maguire, Drake Bell, H.E.R., Chandler Riggs, Mitchell Hope, Oliver Stark, Jo Frost, Vera Wang, JJ Abrams, Matthew Lewis, Bianca del Rio, Kimiko Glenn

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

Which animal at the zoo makes rude and mocking remarks at human visitors? A JEER-AFFE! Other submissions from Rex Post.

Today's riddle

When does a hippo have a tusk?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella or Ankeny, Altoona, Bondurant Living magazines, contact:

Angela Ossian
Account Executive
Office: 515-953-4822 ext. 307
Mobile: 515-979-5585

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