Friday Reads — Patrolling the Mean Tweets

So what am I doing? I’m reading The Gazette’s front-page piece on local law enforcement agencies that are using social networking sites such as Twitter to communicate. Stephen Schmidt reports that Coralville cops have been tweeting since September. For instance, The department tweeted descriptions of a bank robbery suspect back in October.

Perhaps the Waterloo cops could use Twitter to help find the dastardly villain who stole a film projector from the Mini Cinema, an adult movie house. If I were a detective, or U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, I’d start by grilling officials at the National Science Foundation. They like the naughty movies.

OK, there’s no clever transition here. The Gazette fronts and other papers carry news that projects hoping to get a slice of Gov. Culver’s $700 million bonding pie will be required to pay prevailing wages. Lt. Gov. Patty Judge delivered the news to the Iowa Building Trades convention.

Democrats like the idea, of course, but Republicans say the gov is more interested in pushing a labor agenda than rebuilding the state.

So what’s prevailing wage? Rod Boshart sums it up nicely: Prevailing wages are characterized as the hourly wage, usual benefits and overtime paid to the majority of workers, laborers and mechanics for each trade and occupation in the largest city in each county. They are established separately for each county and reflect local wage conditions.

The Statehouse is slated to get some rebuild cash, and just in time to plug some holes. The Gazette carries a brief in its print edition describing how a mouse is loose in the Iowa House. A House clerk noticed that her lunch had been sampled by some critter, and the chief clerk issued a rodent alert.

The Mason City Globe-Gazette fronts Charlotte Eby’s story describing legislation that would require gender balance on locally appointed boards and commissions. Most panels are overwhelmingly male, and board seats are one route to higher office. Iowa is still one of only two states to never send a woman to Congress or the governor’s office.

The bill, pushed by Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, would exempt small towns under 1,000. Rep. Christopher Rants, R-Sioux City, father of two daughters, says there should be no exemption.

From the whatever-happened-to-that-bad-idea file, Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, says the University of Iowa should sell its Jackson Pollock “Mural” masterpiece instead of raising tuition. The same idea was floated several months ago and rejected. But why not throw it at the canvas again and see if it sticks?

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