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Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
Good morning to you!

Signs. Signs. Everywhere there are signs. And, at least in Iowa, they are mostly written in the English language. For me, that’s a good thing, as what I learned in three years of Spanish classes didn’t stick very well. But, for those who can’t read the English language, it’s certainly not easy.

Imagine moving to a foreign country and having every street sign, every store sign, every menu, every single word in a language you are unable to read. And then imagine having to communicate with those who speak another language to get instructions on how to do the simplest of tasks and not break the law. It would not be easy.

The solution through the years on how to address this in America has clearly changed. In the earliest days of the United States, and through most of its history, those who were new to the country were expected to learn the English language and realized the need to do so to survive. In recent decades, in many parts of America, signs and other communication tools are provided in two or more languages. What changed?

Asking for the answer to that question simply leads to finger-pointing and creates a deeper divide in America. Maybe it’s time for another solution. Maybe it’s time to work toward creating an answer that could accommodate most everyone in a positive way. What if we simply gave the English language back to the English, and we devised a new language — the American language. We are kind of doing this now anyway, so why not make it formal? I realize it would be a lot of work, but imagine a new language that would be a combination of the many vernaculars spoken here now. It would likely be quite similar to the English language but with words and phrases from other tongues, too.

I am convinced that we would be better off as a society if we focused more on how we are alike rather than how we are different. We are spending an incredible amount of both public and private money now to deal with the language barriers. What if we used that money to create one language and then hold all Americans accountable for using it?

It may be a pollyannaish idea, but it also just might help to extract at least one wedge that divides our country — and we all might learn a little more about each other, too.


Have a marvelous Monday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman

President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

See Shane Goodman's previous columns here.


Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Record highs are likely today. Breezy conditions today through Thursday. Much colder air blasts in late Tuesday, with sprinkles changing over to a light wintry mix Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning. Bitter cold wind chills early Wednesday, but then we warm again into the weekend.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The results have been tallied and published in the February issue of CITYVIEW and online!

Best Local Mediterranean Food

1. Fresh Mediterranean Express

2. Gazali’s

3. Green Olive

Read all the results now!

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.

$475,000                                                           5295 Jordan Blvd.                                         Pleasant Hill, IA 50327

Welcome to Jordan's Crossing! This updated and well cared for ranch in Southeast Polk Schools is sure to please! Step inside to over 3,000 square feet of spacious finish that offers a blend of comfort and functionality. New LVP floors lead to the well equipped kitchen with granite counters. All appliances included.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
From Urbandale Living magazine

Golden employees
Retirement-age workers share why they continue to report for duty.

By Chantel Boyd

The vision of what life is like “after retirement” is as unique as each individual. For some, that vision focuses on leisure: traveling to warm beaches, afternoons spent reading, extra rounds of golf, more time for hobbies, friends and families. For others, however, employment continues to be an important aspect of their lives. From those who continue full-time careers to those who put in a few hours to keep busy, work can be a key part of life after retirement age.

Devoted to their careers

Marva McCarty, 73, and her husband, Vince, 77, have been married for nearly 45 years. And, though they are past the typical retirement age, they have no plans to retire. Like their devotion to each other, they have remained devoted to their careers — Marva as a Realtor with RE/MAX Concepts and Vince as a financial advisor.

Marva has held various roles in TV news, public relations, professional association management, adult education, lobbying at the state legislature, property management and, for a while, stay-at-home mom.


Shipping disruptions in the Suez and Panama canals have doubled import delivery costs since November 2023. Shipping companies are turning to new technologies to keep food from spoiling on longer journeys. Electrical fields are being injected into containers to slow the process of decay — by altering molecules in the containers. This science is based on the same molecular wonder that makes hot water freeze faster than cold water in sub zero weather. Suez disruptions are encouraging Asian countries to import more food from the western hemisphere and less from the EU. (Newsroom Tokyo)

According to new data from the U.S. Labor Department, the last time Americans spent this much money (as a percentage of income) on food, George H.W. Bush was in office, Tom Brady was a junior in high school and Kurt Cobain was still alive. To make the high prices seem worse, the cheapest time in those 30 years was 2020 after four years of declines.

McCormick & Company released their annual “Flavor of the Year” forecast for chefs and food manufacturers. Tamarind was named the flavor of the year. It's called the king of sweet and sour. MinGaLaBar Burmese Kitchen (8134 Douglas Ave., Des Moines) serves tamarind sauces and pastes in Urbandale. It's fabulous with their crispy fried tofu.

It's half price Monday for Peroni and coal oven pizza at Centro (1003 Locust St., Des Moines). They do not yet make tamarind pizza there.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Field and grass fires flame up around central Iowa

STORY COUNTY, Iowa — Multiple grass and field fires were reported across much of central Iowa on Sunday. In Story County, the Kelley Fire Department responded to a fire in a cornfield near 510th Avenue and 300th Street. According to the Story County Sheriff's Office, the fire grew to 10,000 square feet. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Dwindling water supply makes uncertain future for Osceola pool this summer

OSCEOLA, Iowa — The Osceola City Council this week voted to close the swimming pool this summer. That decision was then vetoed by Osceola Mayor, Thomas Kedley. ..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: 'I was in shock': Iowa's only national STEM champion attending national festival

West Central Valley High School's Taylor Ommen is bringing her research to a national stage.....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Birthdays and notables

Happy Birthday Ron Sorenson!

These celebrities were born on this date: Corinne Bailey Rae, Erykah Badu, Greg Germann, Greg Rikaart, Jonathan Cain, Taylor Dooley, Jamal Musiala, Michael Bolton, Mariah Linney, Nate Ruess, DeRay Davis, Teresa Palmer

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

Which member of the rock band does the weirdest stuff on stage? The bizarre-est guitarist! Other answers from Gail Tomlinson, Rex Post.

Today's riddle

Why are violinists happier than guitarists?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Guthrie City Times, Panora Times, Lake Panorama Times and Guthrie County Times Vedette, contact:

Account Executive
Office: 641-755-2115
Mobile: 515-619-2788

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