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Sen. Dan Dawson, chair of the Iowa Senate Ways & Means Committee, said his tax policy goal for the 2022 Legislature is to create a “21st century model” that will create the best tax climate in the nation.

When I walked out the door at the Des Moines Register for the final time on Dec. 12, 2014, there was an unfinished piece of work tucked away in a box of assorted stuff I carried. The folder contained a few dozen newspaper clippings, press releases and notes to myself I had collected. There w…

Minnesota and its government officials delivered an important lesson recently on how to provide justice — and their lesson should be taken to heart by their neighbors in Iowa.

Countless people have lost millions of dollars to online hoaxes and scams, but the biggest collective loss concerns trust. Losing trust hurts us more than money ever could.

As the world continues to grow and rely on technology, humans find themselves soaked in damaging, artificial light. The effects are not as noticeable as other types of pollution because it is a slow poison. Infected waterways limit our fresh water sources, air pollution clogs our lungs, and …

As the late science fiction writer Harlan Ellison stated, “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

There is beauty in the simple things — a baby’s infectious giggle, waking up and staring out at the first rays of a sunrise as darkness rises and light appears, the first gentle snow of the season when for that one moment the earth seems to stand still in appreciation of Mother Nature’s gift. 

Each season, the celebration of Christmas has religious leaders and conservatives publicly complaining about the commercialization of the holiday and the growing lack of Christian sentiment. Many people seem to believe that there was once a way to celebrate the birth of Christ in a more spir…

Thanksgiving week is not the season when we expect to see door-to-door peddlers offering home and farm improvements. In particular, peddlers offering to paint barns and outbuildings. 

You have to marvel at the capacity of the human spirit — especially the ability of people who remain optimistic and upbeat in the face of challenges most of us can’t fathom.

The horrifying case of Daniel Gingerich, a Wayne County breeder on whose multiple properties hundreds of dogs were found in deplorable conditions —injured, ill, emaciated or dead — has many Iowans wondering how such a thing could have happened. He was, after all, a U.S. Department of Agricul…

Three days without a hot meal, water, electricity (therefore neither heat nor air conditioning)? How about two days without hot water for a shower or even water to flush the toilet? 

Southern Italy’s rural Calabria region announced an innovative project in 2021 to breathe new life into its small towns. It plans to offer young professionals thousands of dollars if they move in and commit to launch a business, preferably a business the community needs.

Everyone seems angry, cheated, entitled, resentful, deprived — new American norms afflicting every walk of life — from viral Karens and road-raging Kens to berserker travelers and conspiratorial lawmakers.

Joining the Saber staff for the 2021-2022 school years is Alisa Sage. Ms. Sage is the new Family and Consumer Science (FCS) teacher taking over from her predecessor, Val Betz. She hopes to make her cooking classes positive and fun. 

Author Marty Rubin once said, “Getting lost is part of getting there.” This may be true, but I am not sure Mr. Rubin was ever lost in a foreign country because getting lost where no one speaks your language is the emptiest feeling of “losthood” that exists. Trust me — I know from experience.

Turning 65 years old is one of those milestones, those events in our lives which add punctuation and focus.  It’s a turning point because turning 65 makes us Medicare eligible. 

My family made a big move this summer, relocating from Maquoketa to Odense, Denmark, following a job offer and the opportunity to spend a few years traveling and exploring. Some of you have asked that I keep this community updated on our adventures, and The Observer has generously given me s…

The Biden administration is proposing a sweeping expansion of tax information reporting aimed at raising revenue to help offset the cost of additional spending programs in the American Families Plan. If enacted, the proposal would require financial institutions to report to the IRS detailed …

Dating websites and social media all too often are populated by folks wanting to project a more positive image of themselves than exists in reality. The images projected can range from those merely shading the truth (leaving out that you are married) to the bald-faced lie (pretending to be a…

At the end of this month, little goblins and ghosties will be canvassing homes with their goodie bags for Halloween candy. When I was growing up, one of our neighbors always invited her little visitors into her living room for cookies and cider, and another always treated us to her special f…

President Herbert Hoover turned 147 in July. Today, Herbert Hoover is often forgotten, or if he is remembered, it is usually in the context of the Great Depression. However, the story of Herbert Hoover is remarkable, and it is symbolic of the spirit of the United States.

It was a cold October evening when I decided to end my life. I had arrived at this decision once before, several years prior this, but I had a moment of clarity and called for help before I followed through. I received treatment immediately following, and I went into remission for a few years. 

The unemployment benefits system became an irresistible target for all manner of fraud almost as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020. The numbers of unemployed using these systems exploded by orders of magnitude, with a corresponding investment of benefit dollars dwarfing any…

One of the first lessons I give my students begins by asking them to view this image (see right) and consider which jar represents the capacity of their creativity. I encourage you to think about your own answer to that question.

Honestly, I began writing this column long before The Observer recently ran its Golden Lifestyles supplement and the controversy regarding certain school curriculum.