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SharonClark's Journal
SharonClark's Journal
May 31, 2020

Rekha Basu, Des Moines Register, "If only the clock could have stopped at 7 in Des Moines;

what happened later 'wasn't the way to do it'".
. . .
Flash-forward an hour or two and a few blocks east. As evening morphed into night, peaceful protest morphed into deliberate provocation and destruction. From what I could see, and have since heard, those in the vanguard, agitating and throwing stones at police and into store windows, were not the same ones pledging earlier to work harder for justice. In fact, they appeared to be opportunists seizing the occasion to sow fear and distrust of peaceful protesters.


May 16, 2020

For the poet in all of us - Pandemic Haiku

Ames (Iowa) woman's haiku inspires nationwide writing group

A haiku written by an Ames resident has united writers county and countrywide in documenting their pandemic experiences and now is part of a book of their work, “Pandemic Haiku: Volume One.”

Robin Schinnow, a licensed therapist, thought of the haiku, a traditional Japanese 17-syllable poem, at the end of March during the beginning of the statewide period of social distancing and felt an urge to write more and share them with others.


May 16, 2020

"Hundreds gather to honor memory of motorcyclist"

Hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts converged on 7th and MLK Parkway in Des Moines on Saturday, May 16, 2020, during a memorial for Troy Matice, who was killed in a motorcycle accident on May 9 when he was struck by a Jeep Cherokee.

Pictures here:

And not a mask in sight!

May 8, 2020

Des Moines Register endorses Mike Franken for US Senate in Democratic Primary

The Register's endorsement: Mike Franken for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate
The 117th U.S. Congress will convene in January 2021. It may be the most important Congress in history.

Members must help navigate this country through a novel coronavirus pandemic and address the weaknesses and inequalities it has exposed — from an underfunded public health system to a porous safety net for American workers. Congress must focus on restoring the economy and tackling federal debt exacerbated by reckless tax cuts and pandemic-related bailouts.

Who will Iowans send to Washington to represent us? Specifically, will voters reelect or replace Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst?

The time to start making that decision is now.

Many Iowans are requesting absentee ballots for the June 2 primary election, when registered Democrats will vote to decide which of the remaining four candidates will run against Ernst in November.

The Des Moines Register editorial board endorses Mike Franken for this job.

The retired three-star admiral is the candidate who is the most qualified, experienced and ready to hit the ground running. As the nation faces unprecedented health and economic crises, he has come back to Iowa just as the times demand someone like him.

Franken was born and raised in rural Sioux County. He worked on farm equipment and trucks at his dad’s shop, and was a hired farm hand, welder, construction worker and truck driver. He spent three years working at a meatpacking company during college.

He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Nebraska and a master’s degree from the College of Physics at the Naval Postgraduate School. His background includes professional studies at MIT, the Darden School of Business and the Brookings Institute.

What was supposed to be a short time in the military lasted 36 years. He lived on four continents as a naval officer and visited much of the world. His service included commissioning the USS Winston S. Churchill, commanding a squadron of ships and an international task force at sea, and serving as the ground task force commander for 4,000 personnel on the continent of Africa. He also led a federal effort to find and identify fallen service members.

Franken credits his formative years in Iowa — a place he said “you really get imprinted with your morality and choices” — with providing the best preparation for serving Iowans.

Yet his many years of military service in Washington, D.C., including his work as the first military officer on U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy’s staff, also have provided exceptional preparation for serving in Congress.

Franken oversaw infrastructure and environmental compliance issues, drafted budgets and immersed himself in senior policy making, strategy and planning roles for the U.S. Department of Defense. He was the chief of legislative affairs for the Navy, where he oversaw authorization of a $150 billion budget.

After retiring from the Navy in 2017, he returned to Iowa. He and his wife of 30 years, Jordan, live in Sioux City.

“I am not a practiced politician,” he told the editorial board during a recent virtual interview, but he understands Washington. He understands that Congress desperately needs members who will “finally maintain some principled oversight.”

He has focused his campaign on addressing climate change as an existential threat, providing comprehensive health care for everyone and working for the interests of Iowans rather than special interests.

The Democrats offer good candidates in this race. The Register interviewed all of them using video conference tools.
Kimberly Graham is a smart attorney who would use her seemingly boundless energy to continue fighting for children and families.
Eddie Mauro is experienced in business and community building.
Theresa Greenfield understands the struggles of working Iowans.
Cal Woods, noteworthy for his dedication to fighting climate change, recently dropped out and endorsed Franken.
All would make fine members of Congress, but none matches the credentials or potential for statesmanship of Mike Franken.

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