Just like love is love, hate is hate

Just like love is love, hate is hate

Gazette Column
This is what we’ve been reduced to and the saddest part of all is that we no longer find such behavior shocking. On March 22, at a Fort Dodge restaurant, a 26-year-old man — a Jefferson, Iowa, native transplanted in Lafayette, Colo. — tossed a glass of water onto U.S. Rep. Steve King and the congressman’s dinner mates. The man, Blake Gibbins, was immediately arrested and charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. That same day a woman who knew Gibbins when they were both younger and now lives in King’s congressional district, Carly Johansen of Ames, began fundraising online for Gibbins’ legal defense expenses. The GoFundMe site had a goal of $3,000 and, as I type, it has raised more than $5,000 from 254 donors in a five-day span.…
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We must talk about suicide

We must talk about suicide

Gazette Column
For Iowans between the ages of 15 and 34, suicide is second-leading cause of death On Monday we learned a third person connected to a mass shooting took his own life. Jeremy Richman, a 49-year-old neuroscientist and father of Newtown, Conn., shooting victim Avielle Richman, took his own life in the town hall offices of the nonprofit he co-founded to research violence and named for his daughter, the Avielle Foundation. His death closely followed those of two survivors of the 2018 Parkland, Fla., school shooting. Also gone are former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School cheerleader and recent graduate Sydney Aiello, 19, who lost her best friend in the rampage, and an unidentified sophomore at the school. (Author’s note: After this column was filed, the family of Calvin Desir identified him as the second Parkland shooting survivor to…
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Push needle on Cedar Rapids’ age-friendly reputation

Push needle on Cedar Rapids’ age-friendly reputation

Gazette Column
April 4 public meeting to provide older residents' survey responses Here’s what we know: Anything designed to facilitate access, engagement, safety, enjoyment and participation by older people is good for all age groups. So, why aren’t we doing more of it? The idea of creating “age-friendly” communities isn’t a new one. In 2011 Des Moines became the first Iowa community to earn the distinction of being an Age-Friendly Community, a partnership between the World Health Organization and AARP. Sadly, it remains the only Iowa community to complete the process, although Charles City in Floyd County has been exploring the idea. Two years ago Iowa City was named the best small city for successful aging by the Milken Institute. The group ranks communities in nine areas: general livability, health care, wellness, financial security, education, transportation and convenience,…
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