Wednesday Reads — Peepers Creepers

OK, let’s get the creepiest story of the young year out of the way first.

The Sioux City Journal fronts news this morning of a motel maintenance worker who admits spying on naked female guests through bathroom vents from 2004 t0 2008. He was finally caught in July at the Rodeway Inn and Conference Center, formerly the Quality Inn.

The shudder quote: “The defendant admitted that when he saw an attractive woman at the pool, he would wait for her to return to her room and shower,” a criminal complaint and affidavit says.

Let’s just be glad that’s as far as our accused creep went. He could get a year in jail.

Elsewhere…

This time of year, Iowans have to deal with the freeze-thaw cycle. You have to watch your step on frigid mornings.

In the Legislature, you have to deal with the propose-denounce cycle. Also slippery.

I linked to news yesterday about Sen. Matt McCoy’s legislation that would force the consolidation of Iowa school districts with fewer than 750 students. The Des Moines Democrat says smaller schools are inefficient and waste scarce tax dollars through administrative duplication.

Oh boy, do the rural lawmakers think that’s a bad idea. Sen. David Johnson, R-Ocheyedan, leads the counter-attack, in The Des Moines Register:

“A state legislator says we can’t maintain this inefficiency anymore, and I want to know what that inefficiency is since our graduation rates in northwest Iowa are much higher than they are in Des Moines,” said Sen. David Johnson, a Republican from Ocheyedan who took to the microphone in the Iowa Senate Tuesday morning. “Our student achievement scores are much higher than they are in Des Moines.”

 Take that city slicker. Tag. It’s Senate President Jack Kibbie, D-Emmetsburg’s turn. In The Gazette:

“I don’t think it’s going anywhere,” said Senate President Jack Kibbie, D-Emmetsburg, whose northwest Iowa district boasts two small schools acclaimed in U.S. News & World Report rankings. “I don’t think we’re going to mandate any kind of school consolidation.”

Oof. Boff. Biff. Down goes consolidation. Down goes consolidation.

But the celebration is muted. As The Register notes, the next census will increase urban power in the Legislature. And budget problems likely will force the hand of many officials in smaller schools.

And, The Gazette notes that they all laughed at McCoy years ago when he was pushing for a big cigarette tax hike and a public smoking ban. Nobody’s laughing now.

Speaking of the smoking ban, House Democratic leaders have snuffed out efforts to both loosen it and tighten it. They just don’t want to talk about it this year, even though, as Radio Iowa reports, there are 51 votes in the House for allowing smoking on outdoor bar patios.

They also don’t want to take a chance that lawmakers will end casinos’ smoking ban exemption, not with the governor’s $700 million bonding plan relying heavily on healthy, wealthy casinos, if not healthy gamblers.

And finally, a story that made me feel just a little bit younger on this gray winter morning.

The Omaha World-Herald says Motley Crue tore it up at the Qwest Center last night. Vince Neil squeezed into his leather pants one more time. And near the end of an otherwise rockin’ show, reviewer Kevin Coffey reports that the band slowed things down for an encore performance of  “Home Sweet Home.” Oh yeah. Of course they did.

You know I’m a dreamer. I’m holding up a lighter right now.

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