Tuesday Must Reads

Veteran newsman Dave Franzman at KCRG TV9 in Cedar Rapids has an interview with ailing State Sen. Mary Lundby. She’s in hospice care as her terminal cancer worsens, but she’s still talking politics and giving lawmakers advice on the tough issues they face. No surprise.  

The Gazette’s Steve Gravelle has a front-page piece detailing a sharp rise in the number of Iowans receiving food assistance, aka “food stamps.” The number of households getting help is up 15 percent from last November and homes receiving food-only, a sign of temporary distress, is up 25 percent.

The Des Moines Register had a sit-down with Gov. Culver Monday. The Lug says state employees  may not get raises in 2009 and he’s considering merging departments, although details are scarce. The story barely even mentions disaster recovery, another sign that we still have a big job reminding the rest of the state that this thing isn’t over over here.

In another sign of economic woes, The Sioux City Journal has newsthat MPC, a company that bought a piece of ailing computer-maker Gateway, has shut down. The company had previously laid off 300 workers, and now the last 50 have lost their jobs. It’s a far cry from Gateway’s glory days, when the iconic cow-printed North Sioux City company employed thousands.

Over at Iowa Independent, Lynda Waddington has an email interview with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame. He’s not happy about the use of his song, “Puff the Magic Dragon” as the basis for the satirical “Barack the Magic Negro.” The satire sparked controversy when it was included on a CD sent out by Chip Saltsman, a candidate to chair the Republican National Committee.

And on a lighter note, as the TV folks say, Matthew Wilde has a story in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier about a veteran who is selling his vast collection of GI Joe’s to help refurbish Veteran’s Memorial Hall. At one time he had about 300 of the action figures.

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