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You want a community center? Make it

You want a community center? Make it

I’ve been thinking about the old middle school and how so many people have clamored to save it and how quiet it all has become — the building and the politics.

Charley Thomson’s interest in the building is the lone active proposal on the table, which is sadly empty.

Earlier this week, I urged the city to move City Hall into the building, with the police staying behind. Renovations for offices surely are not as costly as going in on a new law enforcement center, and partially saves a beloved community landmark, right?

Community Development Director Mark Wicks has often made the case for a community center in the old school building. That sounds good, and to make it happen, the Chamber and Community Revitalization and Charles City Area Development Corporation offices should move into the school. Their current location on Main Street would seem to be well-suited for retail rather than office use. From there, I propose that Community Revitalization, in partnership with the city, which should take ownership of 500 N. Grand, get busy revitalizing the landmark for community use and the surrounding neighborhood.

The school district’s operations funding is going to take a hit again. Taking this building off its table will help keep teachers in classrooms.


The 30-something from Wilton, Bobby Kaufmann, who made it to the Iowa Statehouse on his daddy’s name, Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, says he has a bill to cut budgets at public universities that spend extra money on students upset about the presidential election. He calls it the Suck It Up, Buttercup bill.

What’s the word I’m looking for? Smug? Cocky?

Let’s try hubris. There is an overabundance of it among Republicans and it’s going to get unbearable.

Hubris, by the way, is what drove the Democrats to a loss in the presidential election. Hillary Clinton, although a far superior human being than Donald Trump and a somebody who was less likely to damage our country, was a damaged candidate in a race that was stacked against the Democrats in the first place. The many lies conservative radio, television and website told over and over and over again about her took root enough to cast a pall over her candidacy.

The Democrats needed less baggage. Clinton’s hubris did not let her see that.

Gerrymandered legislative districts created by Republican-controlled state governments kept Republicans in power in D.C., and they used that power to waste taxpayer money to keep alive fake scandals against her for years.

Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on the Sean Hannity show before the election: “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today?”

The fix was in a long time ago, and it was never against Trump.

Note, this is the second time in five elections that the winner lost the popular vote. Both times the loser was a Democrat.

But I digress.

Kaufmann’s bill is a sickening slap at thr freedom of expression. The public universities have not spent a dime protesting Trump. This is just another trumped up reason to cut into education funding.

It’s also another reason to doubt the oft-trumpeted “Iowa Values” Republicans claim to represent. The heck with the Golden Rule, right, Mr. Kaufmann.

I propose a bill cutting funding to lawmakers who spit on the First Amendment. And even worse, they have to read everything I write, out loud, to a squirrel that’s just drank a Slurpee.

A letter writer earlier this week decried how the “Elite Left” (name-calling) bullies conservatives by calling them names such as hater, sexist, cheater, liar … blah, blah, blah.

It’s not a new complaint and I’m still amazed that the people making such complaints do the same darn thing to the people they complain about.

Did any of you people pay attention in Kindergarten? Sunday School?

I suggest anyone feeling beset upon to consider your words, to look at your actions, to recognize leaders you support and be honest with yourself. If you act in a way to put women down or tell a racist joke or sit by and laugh at one, if you tell a lie or let one stand that works for you, if you set yourself up as a victim and whine about how poorly you are treated, especially when there are people far worse off, well, maybe the names suit you.

Dibs on whiner, though.

Contact Editor Chris Baldus at Better yet, write a letter to the editor to be published on this page.

Chris Baldus

Managing Editor