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A time of reawakening

By Jim Duncan Spring was most definitely a time of reawakening in Iowa this year. After decades of reaping the seeds of denial sown by a state legislature filled with Farm Bureau lackeys, federal judge Leonard Strand dismissed all Des Moines Water Works claims against drainage districts in three northwest Iowa counties. He admitted that DMWW may well have suffered an injury […]

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Disbelief and incredulity in the local food scene

By Jim Duncan   To borrow from probably the most populist novelist of all time, “It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.” Charles Dickens could have been writing about the U.S. as 2016 became 2017. The last four […]

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The Dish: Our restaurant bubble grows

By Jim Duncan   The second quarter of 2016 was deceiving, at least to people who only read headlines. Casey’s first-quarter earnings may have disappointed some analysts, but it remained healthy at more than 5 percent growth, in a national economy stuck at less than 2 percent for eight years. Meanwhile, the Ankeny chain worked […]

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Spring comes in like a lion

  By Jim Duncan   The first quarter of the new year was a time of taking things literally. Bandits robbed at least eight different local Git-N-Go stores in the last month, inviting speculation about motives for their exclusivity of targets. Was it a disgruntled customer or former employee? Or were thieves just doing what […]

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THE DISH – A flurry of activity

By Jim Duncan The fourth quarter of 2015 was a perplexing disappointment to food consumers. Despite the continued drop in energy prices, food prices rose. That’s not supposed to happen. The United States Department of Agriculture found that the consumer price index for food rose 1.4 percent from November of the previous year. It was […]

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