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Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Good morning to you!

As much as we try to change our planet — in good ways and in bad — it has a way of resorting back to what it wants to be. And it doesn’t take long.

Iowa was once a land of 80% prairie, the largest in the nation. Today, less than .1% of that original prairie remains, and it exists in small pockets across the state.

When I was in sixth grade, my class took a trip to a place called Stinson Prairie, 32 acres of unbroken native prairie located about 5 miles southwest of Algona in Kossuth County. It looked like a bunch of weeds to most of us 12-year-olds, but it offered a glimpse into the past to see what this entire region once looked like, and our teachers wanted us to experience it.

I am reminded of our prairie roots lately as I see what has happened to abandoned properties in our cities and our towns. Within just a few months, the grass and weeds have grown several feet, overtaking what was once well-manicured lawns, flowerbeds and even parking lots. Of course, most every city or town has codes to penalize those who allow this to happen, but they seem to be rarely enforced — or the process takes so long that any progress is at a standstill.

What’s the harm, you may ask. Well, if you are a residential or commercial property owner near these abandoned or unattended sites, you know the answer, especially if you are trying to lease or sell. Most people don’t want to locate near dilapidated properties, as they know it will impact their investment as well. This is why the city codes exist and why they should be enforced without exception.

I am convinced that some folks are just ornery about lawn care. They may not care what their lawns (or more appropriately, their weeds) look like, but they simply want to irritate their neighbors. They do a great job at this.

Some people say they don’t have time to maintain their lawns. The last time I checked, we all have the same 24 hours in a day, so it’s not about time but rather about priorities. Ever notice how many of these same folks seem to somehow find time to post on social media dozens of times every day?

Some of the weed-promoters are transplants from foreign countries who don’t understand the fuss we make in America about mowing and trimming. Fair enough, but if I chose to live in a desert, I would make efforts to make sure my sand looked as good as the others around me.

Meanwhile, another option exists for those who choose not to take care of their properties that could please most everyone. They can move to the country where they can let the natural prairie land return.

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

A few late-day storms are possible today. Otherwise expect warm and dry conditions. We heat up this weekend.

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

From the July issue of CITYVIEW

Iowa combat veteran, former ag official ‘ready to serve’ again — this time in Congress

By Douglas Burns

After the rains, or in the routines of daily life, in one of the more war-ravaged reaches of the globe, residents would spot the signs of unexploded munitions, mortars and other devices of death.

The Army National Guard’s combat engineers would scout and remove rocket rounds and similar weapons for force protection in and around Kandahar, Afghanistan. This was now-Iowa congressional candidate Lanon Baccam’s role as a corporal in the Guard during a 2004-2005 deployment that lasted 366 days.


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


Best Local Winery

1. Jasper Winery

2. Summerset Winery

3. Madison County Winery

Read all the results now!

Explore Des Moines

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

EXPLORE: Classic Eats

By Cyote Williams

Each of these restaurants has been operating in central Iowa for at least 30 years, and many of them much longer. Their flavors have been satisfying generations of Des Moines metro mouths.

Film review

“Young Woman and the Sea” (still in theaters)
This is one of the better movies that you likely did not see this year. It opened over a month ago, and it is still in theaters, if that tells you something. (It should.) The film is based on a true story about a young girl in NYC in 1914 who develops a love for swimming at a time when girls weren’t encouraged or allowed to swim. When she decides to swim the English Channel, people think she is crazy. This is truly wonderful movie — well-acted, well-told and a great story of empowerment and determination. Grade: A

By Michael C. Woody. Woody has been reviewing movies on radio and television since 1986. You can follow him on Twitter @MrMovieDSM. 


Caitlyn Clark and the Indiana Fever play today at 11 a.m. on WOI channel 5. 

Woebegone Wednesday. Washington D.C.’s The Post Pub has closed permanently, again. Much like Rocky Gabriel's The Office did for the Des Moines Register & Tribune, The Post Pub provided recess and stimulation for writers, printers and gossip mongers of the Washington Post. It shut down early in the pandemic before a nostalgic new owner tried vainly to revive it. It was definitely a dive bar but rich in history. Cocktail history has been made in such bars. Irish coffee was invented by Stanton Delaplane, famed columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, in one of many such bars near "Newspaper Row," where all three major San Francisco newspapers existed across triangulated streets from one another for 100 years. Today, the nostalgia exists in lounges paying homage to the glory days of print journalism, like Hello, Marjorie in Des Moines and The Local Edition in San Francisco. Both are located in former newspaper buildings.

Whatever happened to High Tea? High tea was the Victorians' idea, and it replaced "luncheon" for ladies of standing. Sherman Hill, that most Victorian hood of Des Moines, has a revivalist version going at the Wallace House. Unfortunately, Sherman Hill Victorian Teas are so popular they are sold out for the rest of the year. Unless someone wants to add more, wink wink.

Sinatra haunts, part VII. Frank's chief performance venue in Vegas was the wind-grieved Sands, but his public feud with owner Howard Hughes drove him to favor Caesar's Palace starting in 1967. Caesar's 1,000-seat theater gave him a bigger audience for the latter part of his career and their baccarat tables a new outlet for his high-stakes tendencies. Cleopatra's Barge lounge was favored by Frank and Dean Martin after shows. It's still a great photo op for selfies.

Deals today. Wednesdays bring steak night to Club 2000 (422 Indianola Road, Des Moines). Steaks are cooked to order with salad, potato and bread $14.99... Marianna's (1305 University Ave., Des Moines) has Taco Wednesday and Thursday because they are closed on Tuesday... 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)... Rangemasters Training Center (10520 Hickman Road, Clive) has a Wednesday ladies day special of $13 per person for live firing range and one target. $10 handgun rentals or BYOG... Graziano Brothers' (1601 S. Union St., Des Moines) Wednesday special is Chicago Italian beef sandwiches $10. They are exemplars of that genre... It's cavatelli night at Eastside Eddie's (3517 E. 26th St., Des Moines) served with garlic bread for $10... Wednesdays bring live jazz and discounted food and drink to Panka Peruvian Restaurant (2708 Ingersoll Ave Des Moines.,)… This week's Wednesday special at Waterfont is Alaskan halibut.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

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

$425,000                                                              714 53rd St., Des Moines, IA 50312

This charming 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom craftsman ranch home in Des Moines' desirable Waterbury neighborhood offers the perfect blend of comfort and modern living. An open-concept living and dining area flows seamlessly into the spacious kitchen, which boasts ample countertop and cabinet space.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
SOLD: Featured commercial real estate transaction
1600 N.W. 114TH ST., CLIVE
SALE DATE: 2024-04-17
SALE PRICE: $3,500,000
ACRES: 2.600
From the July issue of Johnston Living magazine

All aces
Johnston resident has tennis court named after him.

By Darren Tromblay

When Dennis Price and his family moved from Denison to Fort Dodge when he was but a wide-eyed fourth grader, he had the usual early struggle of being the new kid on the block. He knew no one, and no one knew him.
Time would solve that problem, and his mother knew it. But, for the time being, she knew Dennis would need to be kept busy while the seeds of those new relationships were being planted.

So, one day, out of the blue, she announced to her young son, “We’re going to go play tennis.”



FROM KCCI: D vs. D: Drake University sues DMACC over new logo. DES MOINES, Iowa — Drake University is suing the Des Moines Area Community College over the college's new "D" logo. Drake says a blue block-letter D is synonymous with the university, and it's enough to violate its copyright.  ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Iowa State Fair releases 2024 new food list. DES MOINES, Iowa — We’re only a month away from the Iowa State Fair, and on Tuesday fair organizers released a list of new food items people can find at the fair this year. ... READ MORE FROM WHO

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Des Moines police officer hospitalized in serious condition after Tuesday morning crash. A K-9 was also injured in the crash.  ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports headlines
ESPN: Kylian Mbappé on France exit: My Euro 2024 was a 'failure.'  ...READ MORE 
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Chris Paul Explains Why He Joined Spurs Instead of Title Contender ... READ MORE
NBC Sports: Philipsen finally triumphs in sprint finish on Stage 10 of Tour de France.    ...READ MORE
1925: Scopes Monkey Trial begins. July 10, 1925: In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called Scopes Monkey Trial begins with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.   ... READ MORE
2018: Last of Thai soccer team rescued from cave. In a search and rescue scramble that gripped the world’s attention for more than two weeks, the last of 12 Thai youth soccer players and their coach are safely rescued and transported to a local hospital on July 10, 2018. ... READ MORE
1889: “Buckskin” Frank Leslie murders his lover. In a drunken rage, “Buckskin” Frank Leslie murders his lover, the Tombstone sex worker Mollie Edwards, a.k.a. Blonde Mollie Williams.  ... READ MORE
Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date:  Mavis Staples, Arlo Guthrie, Béla Fleck, Fiona Shaw, Mason Thames, Sofía Vergara, Isabela Merced, Jessica Simpson, Antonio Brown, Phyllis Smith

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

Why do tennis players never change a lightbulb? BECAUSE THEY WON'T ADMIT IT'S OUT! - Gail Tomlinson, Rex Post. Or, Because they might "smash" it! - Carolyn Rogers

Today's riddle

Why do bees have sticky hair?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella or the Indianola, Urbandale or Clive Living magazines, contact:

Gina Chandler
Account Executive
Office: 515-953-4822 ext. 323
Mobile: 641-750-6485

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