Despite problems the past year or so for charities from the Red Cross to theCatholic church, the head of one Iowa agency says donors have been generous.Forrest Harms, executive director for the Des Moines Area Religious Council,says since the council’s multi-denominational and recipients of its giftsdon’t have to belong to any specific church, he doesn’t see peoplewitholding charity because of anger at any one church. However, otherfactors may be hampering Iowans’ generous impulses. Donations are down thisyear due to the stock-market’s depression as many people look over their networth and conclude they don’t have the financial ability to give. So far hesays it’s been a good year for the council, but in this last week he doesn’tthink they’ll see the last-minute outpouring of giving they have in the lastthree to five years.
Archives for December 2002
Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs, saysstates need to start investing more in the small-sized entrepreneurs whopopulate rural America. Hassebrook says states spend millions on taxincentives to lure corporations to create jobs, but spend very little, ifany, on the small businesses that have been the backbone of the ruraleconomy. Hassebrook says for every dollar invested in corporate development,there should be 20 or 30 cents invested in entrepreneurial development.Hassebrook made his comments during taping of “Iowa Press,” an Iowa PublicTelevision program that’ll air January 3rd.
State representative George Eichorn of Stratford will be part of adelegation that leaves today for a week-long trip to Taiwan. Eichorn saysevery now and then they invite guests and several from midwestern states aregoing on this trip to promote trade and cultural exchange. Eichorn hopes thetrip can improve trade prospects for the state. Eichorn says Iowa needs tojump-start its economic growth right now, and he says it can be a positivefor both countries. He says Taiwan’s also had some tough times lately withthe Asian business downturn, so hopefully improving relations will benefitthat country and Iowa.
Iowans who are looking to get themselves a nice tax break before the year’sout –and– who want to clear that clunker out of the driveway just need tomake one call. Diane Hagarty, executive director of the National KidneyFoundation of Iowa, says they’ll be glad to make the arrangements throughthe statewide “Kidney Cars” program. As long as Iowans have the title to thecar, they can call the 800-number and donate it to the Cedar Rapids-basedcharity. A tow truck will come haul it away if it’s not in runningcondition. Hagarty says the annual auto drive is the agency’s primaryfundraiser. The Kidney Foundation averages about 125 cars donated every yearwhich can net between 20- and 50-thousand dollars. Hagarty says it’s alittle surprising how many Iowans have “extra” cars which they want to getrid of. To donate a vehicle, call 800-488-CARS. All proceeds go to help thestate’s chapter of the Kidney Foundation pay for programs and services.
Tens of thousands of Iowans will vow to quit smoking this week and thousandsof them will fail, an expert says, because they didn’t properly plan for theimpact. David Bullwinkle, program coordinator for the Iowa Tobacco ResearchCenter, says it takes serious preparation and a lot of will power to break acigarette addiction. Bullwinkle says to start planning to quit several daysin advance, write down your reasons for quitting, tell your friends andfamily you’re going to quit and enlist their help and support, and make anote of your smoking habits and in what situations you tend to light up.Bullwinkle says it’s easier now than ever before to whip the horrible,health-robbing habit with all of the medical advances like gums, patches,smokeless cigarettes and numerous toll-free help lines. He suggests meetingwith your doctor to get a prescription for nicotine replacement therapy,dry-cleaning your clothes to get rid of the cigarette smoke smell, and thinkof a reward you’re going to buy yourself for quitting as motivation.Bullwinkle says another motivation is to simply envision all of the moneyyou’ll save not having to buy cigarettes any more. He says smokers also needto prepare themselves to meet a few obstacles too — like compensating forweight gain with more exercise and whipping cravings by eating carrot orcelery sticks. A statewide toll-free smoking cessation hotline calledQuitline Iowa is available from 8 A-M until midnight, seven days a week.Call 866-U-CAN-TRY or surf to “www.quitlineiowa.org”.
The Iowa State Cyclones leave for Boise, Idaho, today for an appearance inthe December 31st Humanitarian Bowl against Boise State. This will give theCyclones a chance to erase the memories of a finish to the regular season inwhich they lost five of their last six games. Cyclone quarterback SenecaWallace spent the first half of the season as a leading contender for theHeisman but his numbers dropped against a difficult schedule. Wallace saysthe more he tried to force things down the stretch the more susceptible theybecame to turnovers. Wallace says he tried to make plays that weren’t thereand “stupid things happened.” Wallace says the players see this bowl game asa chance at redemption. Wallace says while the quarterback gets much of thecredit when an offense is clicking, he also must accept blame when things gobad.Wallace says things weren’t going the team’s way and they didn’t get tofinish the regular season strong, but now get a chance to play again. TheCyclones are 7-6.
The leader of Democrats in the Iowa House says campaigns have grown toolong, and it’s time to at least try a little something new. House DemocratLeader Dick Myers of Iowa City proposes moving the primary day from June tothe fall in hopes of shortening the campaign season. Myers says he’d alsolike to advance the date by which candidates may start raising money, too,because he says the “perpetual” campaigning “has got to stop.’ While manypress for campaign reforms that would prohibit so-called “negative”campaigning, Myers says that’d be hard to define and tricky to enforce sinceeveryone has free speech rights. Myers says something has to be done,because it’s now become a full-time job to campaign for the legislature, ajob that pays just $21,000 a year.
A bio-ethics seminar at Iowa State University early in January will revolvearound a concept that’s gaining strong influence in the field — the”precautionary principle.” Organizer and ISU professor Kristin Hessler saysthat principle says when there’s a possibility of doing harm, even ifthey’re not absolutely certain about it, researchers should not put offmeasures that could prevent that harm. Hessler says a panel at the January10th gathering will focus not on debate but on trying to reach some kind ofconsensus on what action would be wise. After the speakers, the group willbreak up into small groups and discuss how they’d use the PrecautionaryPrinciple regarding pharmceutical crops. Growing plants that might havemedical or therapeutic uses is a new bio-engineering field, but criticsraise concerns over what would happen if the altered life forms escaped fromcultivation or had unforeseen drawbacks. Does Hessler think things likethose concerns, and this week’s claim of cloning human beings, mean the areaof bio-ethics is irrelevant? She says because we hear such things and talkabout such concerns proves that we’re concerned with the ethics of suchmatters. The conference will feature nationally-recognized experts as wellas ISU leaders in bio-ethics and related fields. Though it’s not open to thepublic, conclusions and a summary will be posted afterward atwww.biotech.iastate.edu/biotech.html
Drake closes out non-conference play on Sunday at Denver. The Bulldogs stand5-5 on the season. Drake coack Kurt Kanaskie will see a couple of familiarfaces on the other bench. Denver head coach Terry Carroll was an assistantat Iowa State and former Bulldog guard Matt Woodley is one of hisassistants.Kanaskie says Denver has won three out of four and nearly beat Auburn.Kanaskie says his Bulldogs will have to be very prepared to play.
In college basketball action on Sunday, the Iowa State Cyclones take an 8-1mark to the UNI-Dome to play Northern Iowa. The Panthers snapped a five-gamelosing streak with a victory over Wisconsin-Green Bay prior to Christmas andcoach Greg McDermott says it is difficult to find a way to attack theCyclones.McDermott says ISU is a “team without weaknesses.” McDermott says it won’ttake much to get his team ready to play because of the long-standingrivalry. Last year, UNI was tied with Iowa State with six minutes to go,but Iowa State ran away with a lop-sided victory.