Friday Reads — Change

There’s a lot of change going on out there folks. It’s tough to keep up.

First, Cedar Rapids and other communities in Linn and Johnson counties want local residents’ change, pennies that is, to help pay for flood recovery. A bill allowing allowing fast-track local option sales tax votes in disaster areas cleared the Iowa House Thursday. The Gazette fronts news that the Cedar Rapids City Council will vote Tuesday to put the tax on the ballot in March, probably seeking an 80-20 split between flood-related uses and property tax relief.

Other local tows are also racing for the tax “bonanza,” The Gazette’s Adam Belz writes.

So what else is changing? Shopping malls, and not just Westdale. The Des Moines Register reportsthat Southridge Mall in Des Moines is headed south, with nearly half its stores vacant. Sounds familiar. Locals are wondering what to do to revive the mall.

Illinois has changed governors, according to giant headlines in the Quad-City Times. It’s out with Blago and in with the new guy, Pat Quinn. Get to know him.

The Iowa Girls High School Basketball Tournament is changing. Register columnist John Carlsonsays it’s out with local high school bands and in with recorded rock music at the tourney,ending a 43-year tradition. IGHSAU Executive Director Mike Dick says people would rather watch the big video screen.

Last year, when I went to to the tournament, I found out you can send text messages and they print them on the big screen. Fantastic. I expect they’ll also get rid of the basketball in a few years. It’s sort of distracting.

More change. U of I athletics officialswant to replace Kinnick Stadium’s natural grass with synthetic “field turf.” It would cut maintenance costs and the players, they say, won’t notice.

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