Author: Dean Close

Cars 3: A powerful reminder that your legacy will include more than your successes

The older you are, the more you will probably appreciate “Cars 3.” As a dad and grandpa, I was excited when I first saw that Disney/Pixar planned to release its third in the “Cars” series. I looked forward to seeing it with the youngsters. But on Sunday evening, the Adorables with whom I had seen the despicables last week were busy, so I went alone to the Palace. There, I discovered that the movie seemed to be directed more toward people my age (I am as old as the Super Bowl and the Ford Mustang). And it does a...

Read More

Boredom on four wheels

“We are boring,” she says. By “We” she means: Me. And she’s right. I am generally historically boring, but I took it to a whole new level again this week. It was time for a new (which for us, means “quite used” because we are too fond of not having car payments so we look for things we can pay cash for after receiving our income tax refund) vehicle. Why we received that refund in July is another story about technology, but that will wait for another day. After looking at a variety of vehicles, including a Mustang (too small), and several stylish sedans, I approached Mrs. C. the other day with the dreadful news: I found a vehicle. A minivan. Yup. Even with only one teenager in the house, we bought the same kind of vehicle we had chosen on multiple occasions when we needed all the seats. Boring. And it gets worse. We bought a Kia Sedona, made by the same fine Korean company that makes Hyundai. Like every other person who ever bought a car with a strange name, I wondered: What is a Sedona? Answer: Nobody knows, not even the people at Kia. My minivan is named after a town in Arizona. Why the Korean executives in charge of American marketing chose that name, nobody has ever said. Even the Kia salespeople don’t know “This...

Read More

Benton County Supervisors Meeting Agenda, Aug. 1

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING August 1, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. Benton County Board of Supervisors Room ** Agenda is not printed in any particular order, only time specific items will be addressed at certain times 1. 9:00 A.M. Call to Order 2. Approve minutes 3. Authorize Chair to sign janitorial contract for the DHS office 4. Approve Auditor’s Quarterly Report 5. 9:15 a.m. Discuss/Action for river rock removal from Cedar Valley Ranch Facility 6. 9:30 Carol Zander employee Evaluation 7. 10:00 a.m. Barb Greenlee Re: Set land use hearing date for Elwick Bros LLC part of SW ¼ SW ¼ & SE ¼ SW ¼ Sec 22-85-10 8. 10:15 a.m. Dana Burmeister Re: Approve hire of two part time employees 9. 10:30 a.m. Ben Bonar Re: Discussion on Right of Way Vegetation Policy 10. 11:00 a.m. ENGINEER Re: Resolution: Bridge Embargo removal on new bridge on 70th St (E44), Kane Twp 11. Reports – committee meetings, liaison, Etc. 12. New Business/Public Interest...

Read More

Rare Book Showcase to include reading by former IBSSS student of Ingalls era braille Bible

Rare Book Showcase on August 10th in Cedar Rapids Lovers of old books and good stories are invited to a Rare Book Showcase where six special and rare books from around the Iowa Valley region will be shared. The set of books is diverse, ranging from the Benjamin Franklin 1734 edition of Constitutions of the Freemasons which guided the establishment of Masonic lodges in America to a children’s story titled Peter and Polly which was inspired by Grinnell native Cornelia Clarke’s photographs of her pet cats dressed in clothing. As part of the showcase presentations, an excerpt from each feature book will be read. The audience will enjoy hearing German spoken aloud by Amana Heritage Museum Director Jon Childers as he shares ecstatic speech from the 1719 Wohl und Weh and Czech spoken aloud by Jenda Váňa in a reading of Arabesky from the library at Clutier’s ZCBJ Lodge & Museum. Julie Piper, a 1982 graduate of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, will read aloud from Gospel of Matthew and Mark, a braille version of the bible used in chapel services when Mary Ingalls was a student at the school. Lois Kovar, great niece of Mildred Benson, will share her early edition of The Secret of the Old Clock as well as personal memories of Mildred who practically no one has heard of but whose pen name,...

Read More

Event Focuses on Conservation in Your Land Lease

An event focusing on Conservation in Your Land Lease will be held on Tuesday, August 22 at the Traer Public Library, 531 Second Street in Traer. Dessert and registration will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the event following at 7:00. This event is being co-sponsored by Tama County Women, Land & Legacy and Benton/Tama Nutrient Reduction Demonstration Project. Spend the evening with Allamakee SWCD’s Conservation Lease Specialist, Sara Berges. Learn how landowners and operators can create lease addendums which specify conservation practices to be implemented– crop rotations, residue management, nutrient management and more– to address their priorities for a farm. Please RSVP by August 21 by phoning Mel at 641-484-2702, ext. 305 or by emailing her at melody.bro@ia.nacdnet.net . This event is free and open to the general public, both women and men. Tama County Women, Land & Legacy began in 2007, part of a statewide USDA outreach project. This is the group’s 31st local event. Women, Land & Legacy is currently active in nearly thirty Iowa counties and brings together Iowan women interested in agriculture, local food and natural resources to converse, listen and become empowered for involvement on their landscape and in their communities. The Benton/Tama Nutrient Reduction Demonstration Project is funded by the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and is an effort to educate producers, landowners, and the public about the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, and to...

Read More

Thinking about school, already

It’s not yet August, but some area families have begun shopping for “Back to School” supplies, and others have been preparing for the 2017-18 school year in a variety of ways. On the southwest side of Vinton on Wednesday, a group of children, whose parents are educators, continued what is a nearly-annual event: A bake sale to raise funds for special community needs. This year, the children gathered in the yard of Joe and Jill Johnson sold lemonade and treats to raise money for VS students who cannot afford school supplies. Nearly a dozen children participated, taking turns at...

Read More

VPD welcomes new officer

Vinton’s newest police officer formally began working for the city on Thursday, when he recited the oath of office at the city council meeting. Alex Gutierrez spoke briefly to the city officials and citizens present, saying he is very happy for the opportunity to serve the city. “I am sure you will be seeing me around a lot,” he said. The officer’s wife, Kallie, then pinned his badge on his uniform. Officer Gutierrez brings military experience along with his law enforcement training. He served overseas for several tours as a combat medic for the  U.S. Army.  A native of California, he has lived in Iowa for the past few...

Read More

AmeriCorps NCCC Helps Facilitate Summer Camp and Beautify Public Schools

By Joshua Richards, Cedar 1             On June 23 Cedar 1 drove from Vinton, Iowa to Flint, Michigan to serve with the City of Flint on a project called Operation AmeriCorps through August 10. The team is assisting the city’s 11 public schools with a summer camp, cleaning up brush and trash around school grounds and painting stencils on hardtops. The summer camp that Cedar 1 is helping to facilitate is a Science, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics (STEAM) Camp at Potter Elementary School. Steam Camp is a weeklong camp for students that just finished kindergarten through eighth grade. The camp is totally free and provides breakfast, lunch and snacks to the students. Cedar 1 is spilt up amongst the grades assisting teachers with their lessons and activities. In just a month of being there, Cedar 1 has served with four of the schools where they painted stencils and a class room, removed brush and trash, and completed a walking audit. A walking audit is walking around the neighborhood to record obstacles for children who are going to be walking or biking to school in the fall. The team has also been busy completing independent service projects (ISPs) while in Flint. Some of these projects included the Flint Water Festival on July 4, were Cedar 1 managed games for the children at festival and Habitat for Humanity, which they put down grass...

Read More

Court rules in favor of Benton County in lawsuit regarding Red Shed Auto; declares that Zahradnik lacked legal standing

From the Office of Benton County Attorney Dave Thompson On July 23, 2017 the Honorable Judge Sean McPartland issued a Ruling on the Benton County Board of Adjustment’s Motion for Summary Judgment in the case resulting from a decision issued by the Benton County Board of Supervisors in November of 2015 denying Dean Brown’s request for a land use decision to operate a small auto repair business from his residence. This matter was commonly referred to as the “Red Shed Auto” case and pitted Mr. Brown’s request against the opposition of his neighbors, former Benton County Auditor Jill Marlow and her husband, Gary Marlow. Judge McParland’s ruling is attached. Benton County is pleased with this well –reasoned opinion in which the Court found, as a matter of law, that Ms. Zahradnik lacked the standing to bring this lawsuit because she had neither a “personal injury or stake” in the Brown matter. This case represents nearly two year’ s worth of work by various Benton County offices. Benton County also wishes to thank all the members of the Benton County Board of Adjustment for their many hours of public service work given to Benton County in this matter. As a general rule, it is not fun to be sued, but the Board of Adjustment went to work and did their job on behalf of their County. The Benton County Board...

Read More

Remembering Glen Dale Geiger: Cruise honors long-time participant, months after his death

The shirts that promote the 2017 Vinton Cruise were also a memorial to someone who had attended each event for its first 32 years, and had often entered vehicles for car lovers to see. Glen Dale Geiger of rural Vinton died in March of 2017. Cruise organizers say he was involved in the event from the beginning more than 30 years ago, and continued to participate for many years. The two 1960s classics on this year’s version of the Vinton Cruise t-shirts represent two of Glen’s cars, a 1960 Pontiac Bonneville convertible and a 1969 Pontiac SJ 455 Grand Prix. “We are grateful to the Vinton Cruise Committee for honoring Glen,” says his sister, Bunny Fritch. “I’m sure he was there in spirit.” Those cars depicted on the shirts were in storage in a shed at Geiger’s property when a controlled burn by the Iowa DNR burned out of control, destroying Glen’s sheds and those vehicles in 2014....

Read More

Several Vikings named to IHSBCA All-District baseball team

After finishing the regular season ranked third in Class 3A, the Vinton-Shellsburg Viking baseball team has seen many of its players earning post-season honors. The Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association has named its All-District teams. Vikings recognized in the Northeast District include First Team honorees Nate Struve (pitcher), Will Edwards (catcher) and Tanner Davis (infield). Second team honorees for VS include Jared Thompson (infield), Scott Wirth (pitcher) and Wes Edwards (outfield)....

Read More

Lutheran Home August Ice Cream: Annual Social on Aug. 6; drive-thru every Wednesday

Two favorites involving ice cream will return to the Vinton Lutheran Home in August. On Sunday, Aug. 6, the annual Ice Cream Social will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. There will e homemade pie, ice cream, music and activities, along with a bake sale, grab bags and more. Entertainment will indluce performances by Harold Gray from at 2 p.m. and Barb Riggle and Larry Roster at 3 p.m. Proceeds will go toward a new electric keyboard for the chapel. Drive-Thru Then from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Wednesday in August, the Lutheran Home kitchen will offer a drive-thru, with pretzel burger lunches and chocolate and vanilla shakes....

Read More