Top Stories

Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

COMMENTARY: The Demise of the Smokers’ Entrance

By Dana Boone | 07.01.08 | 10:44 pm

Not one person stood at the usually booming smokers’ entrance.

As employees entered the south entrance of a busy West Des Moines office building on Tuesday, the familiar smell of cigarette smoke was gone.

So were the chatty smokers who usually gathered there daily for breaks and lunch outside the building entrance that was affectionately known by all as “the smokers’ entrance.”

The landscape of the parking lot was transformed on the first day of Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act, which went into effect July 1, 2008 and prohibits smoking in public places, workplaces and some outdoor areas. Instead, workers sat in solitary confinement inside their personal vehicles puffing away. Some sat with the windows cracked. Others, perhaps more defiantly, stood outside their cars. Puffing away alone.

Throughout the busy office building, some employees quizzed each other on where it’s still legal to smoke in Iowa. Some complained about the change to their daily routines.

Most non-smokers who used the entrance seemed to go about their day as usual. I thought of the smokers as I went in and out the entrance that day. The ban didn’t have much effect on me so far because I don’t smoke. The main difference I’ve noticed so far is the missing smell of smoke outside the entrance.

But, I couldn’t help but notice the parking lot, which was dotted with solemn smokers lighting up while sitting alone inside their cars.

It looked odd to me. But then I remembered how odd I thought it was that a building would have a dedicated “smokers’ entrance” to begin with — given all that’s known about the dangers of smoking. 

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