Saturday, June 22, 2019

Opinion: Editorial cartoon — “And here with a rebuttal …”

From Business Direct Weekly, Oct. 12, 2006
Kent County leads the state in car-deer crashes. Stressing passenger safety, AAA Michigan touts the slogan, “Don’t veer for deer.”


Saturday, June 15, 2019

New Raytheon Technologies sees ‘no significant’ job cuts after merger; senators to meet with officials

For the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Gazette   June 11, 2019

[This article was one of a half-dozen stories I reported and/or curated over several days beginning on a Saturday evening, ahead of and directly following the announcement of a proposed merger involving Cedar Rapids’s largest employer.]
While Raytheon Technologies — the new aerospace and defense technology giant to be birthed from the proposed merger of United Technologies Corp. and Raytheon Co. — would retain “corporate presence” in their respective existing communities, what that will look like for UTC’s Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids and other Iowa cities remains to be spelled out.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

'When it comes to raising children, nothing beats bribery,' and other words of advice

For the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Gazette   April 07, 2019

Roz Chast (Bill Hayes photo)
This Tuesday won’t be the first time New Yorker magazine cartoonist Roz Chast has been to Iowa, actually.
Her husband’s family has a farm in Story County, and she recalled that visit as having been very pleasant and, she said, “very mysterious.” She noted the unfamiliar flat land and distant horizons.
“I remember seeing a tractor — how bit it was!” Brooklyn, N.Y.-born Chast said with a chuckle during a recent phone interview from her home in Connecticut. “It was very strange.”

Monday, March 18, 2019

Arts: Friends and Family: The Wyeths’ at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts host breathtaking works

For the Kalamazoo Gazette 01-31-11

Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum, Museum Purchase, 1989.Portrait of a place: The exhibition "The Wyeths: America's Artists" includes this N.C. Wyeth painting "Bright and Fair - Eight Bells,"1936, oil on canvas; 42 3/8 by 52 inches, which is from the Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum.

KALAMAZOO — In “Turkey Pond,” a white-haired man strides through thigh-high sage-colored grass. His back is straight, his head up, as he moves away from us and, determinedly, toward a dark stream in the distance.
Andrew Wyeth’s 1944 tempura painting may be the first of the larger images that catches your eye as you enter the Kalamazoo Institute of Art’s incredible “The Wyeths: America’s Artists.” But it certainly is not the only striking piece here.
Among the 90-some works are paintings and drawings by N.C. Wyeth the patriarch; three of his children, Henriette, Carolyn and Andrew; and Andrew’s son, Jamie. On view are farm buildings, trees, neighbors and animals — roosters, horses, dogs and lots of cats. There is much to admire.

Monday, February 13, 2017

News in the real world

Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Gazette “On Topic” column from Feb. 12, 2017
Dear Mr. Sorkin:
First, let me say I’m a big fan. I loved the writing in “Sports Night.” I often recite the “storm clouds are gathering” speech when talking to reporters here at The Gazette about getting to the point sooner in their stories.
And not that long ago I lifted a whole chunk from your baseball movie, “Moneyball,” when I was talking to a seasoned reporter about how he could help staffers coming up.
“West Wing” I liked, too. But 155 episodes over seven seasons? Forgive me, but I may never catch up.
But where are you now, Obi-Wan? You may be our only hope.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Seeing is believing

Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Gazette “On Topic” column from Aug. 14, 2016

Gov. Terry Branstad calls them haters — those who see a very different picture in the current state affairs of Iowa’s Medicaid managed-care situation.
“Democrats don’t like it, and the Des Moines Register hates it. We’re not going to be deterred by that,” he told the Westside Conservative Club in Des Moines late last month.
“These great so-called progressives are the ones that are the most against progress. They’re stuck in the past.”

Too quick for our own good?

Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Gazette “On Topic” column from March 13, 2016

Gov. Terry Branstad always and forever, it seems, has branded himself as pro-business.
Back in 2010 when he campaigned to retake Terrace Hill from then-Gov. Chet Culver, Branstad won the endorsement of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s political action committee. The organization at the time represented 1,400 businesses in the state.
When he got that nod from the PAC, Branstad vowed to be a “pro-business, pro-growth governor who will reduce taxes and not increase debt.” He resolved, in a Gazette story reported by James Q. Lynch at the time, to “make government more efficient and work day in and day out to encourage job creation.”
So you have to wonder what thought Gov. Branstad gave, with that pro-business mindset, to the many health care providers, large and small, when he set in motion his lickety-split rush to managed care.