Vote Next Tuesday!

Dear Friends, Kirsten Anderson is my guest on Monday’s Fallon Forum at 11:30 a.m. Kirsten’s the former Iowa Senate Republican caucus staffer who received a $1.75 million settlement in the high-profile lawsuit that exposed the “boys’ club” environment beneath the golden dome, where rampant sexual harassment was ignored by Republican supervisors and lawmakers alike. Watch or listen to our conversation on Facebook, online, or at 1260 AM and 96.5 FM in the Des Moines metro. And on November 7, wherever you live, please vote! Local elections don’t get nearly the amount of coverage as, say, an unhinged Continue reading →

Wanted: Bold Iowans

Dear Friends, I’m writing with an urgent appeal. Since March of 2016, Bold Iowa has been a key leader on climate change and eminent domain. In fact, our work is recognized not just in Iowa but across the country. Yet for Bold Iowa to continue, we need your help NOW! We’ve built a powerful rural-urban network of environmentalists, farmers, Indigenous communities, landowners, and property-rights advocates. But our funding is perilously tight, and we truly need your support NOW! If even 10% of those receiving this message contribute $25, that would Continue reading →

Sinking the Santa Maria

Dear Friends, [Please come to the trial for Emma Schmit and Mahmud Fitil, pipeline fighters arrested last fall for blocking construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline during Bold Iowa‘s Farmers Defense Camp. For more detail, check out this excellent video by Rodger Routh. We’ve been asked not to wear pipeline shirts in the courtroom.] I’ve never understood why Christopher Columbus was given a holiday. [Listen to Donnielle Wanatee on this week’s Forum.] I get why we celebrate the impressive lives of men (yeah, they’re all men, but Continue reading →

Illinois Supreme Court gets it right on eminent domain

Dear Friends, As the battle against the Dakota Access pipeline moves from countryside to courtroom, from protest to litigation, pipeline opponents in Iowa have yet another reason to be optimistic. Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled against Rock Island Clean Line (RICL) — the Texas company proposing a 500-mile wind transmission line across Iowa and Illinois. The Court ruled unanimously that RICL is not a public utility and does not have the right to use eminent domain. Click here to read the entire ruling. Continue reading →

Fleeing Irma

Dear Friends, Sometimes I just wanna scream. (OK, sometimes I do, though never loud enough to wake the neighbors or chickens.) HOW MUCH MORE EVIDENCE DO WE NEED!!? (Caps, bold, italics and underline intended) Consistent with what climate scientists have forecast: * Storms are getting stronger — never before have two Category 4 hurricanes hit the U.S. in the same year. * Unprecedented wildfires continue to rage in ten Western states, with 21,000 firefighters working to contain them. * Heck, there was even a large wildfire Continue reading →

National Call to #StopETP

Dear Friends, I’m so excited about my new flock of chickens! Over the past two months, they’ve made solid progress toward becoming fully enrolled members of the Des Moines Society of Colorful Egg Layers. Like an overly protective parent, I worry about them when I leave town. But fortunately, I have two wonderful friends, Emily and Johanna, who mind them in my absence. (Emily, Johanna, in terms of chicken sitters, you’re the best!) On the other end of the chicken-sitter spectrum is Mr. Fox. If my only option were to put Continue reading →

Another Pipeline??

Dear Friends, This week, two Boone County landowners contacted me when they noticed a large amount of pipe arriving at the staging area used last year to stockpile materials for the Dakota Access pipeline. Ever suspicious of Dakota Access’ activities and motives, folks in Boone County were rightfully on guard. So, I dug into it a bit. I contacted officials with both the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). I learned that the pipe is for the Northern Natural Gas (NNG) Continue reading →

Spies Validate Our Success

If you spend 20 minutes reading anything this week, let it be this incredible story by The Intercept. In an age when independent investigative journalism is rare and threats against our liberty are growing, this is a must read. The story reveals how a “shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures”. Spying and infiltration focused on pipeline opponents mostly in North Dakota and Iowa. The story exposes how “TigerSwan spearheaded a multifaceted private security operation Continue reading →

New IUB Conflict Revealed as DAPL Request Denied

To those who say, “The fight against the Dakota Access pipeline is over, so just move on,” we pipeline fighters and water protectors say, “Not so fast!” Tuesday, the Iowa Supreme Court sided with nine Iowa landowners and the Sierra Club Iowa Chapter, rejecting Dakota Access’ request to have the landowners’ lawsuit dismissed! The Court’s order reads: “Dakota Access contends this appeal should be dismissed because the appellant, Sierra Club Iowa Chapter, has failed to establish proper standing in this matter and the remaining appellants’ Continue reading →

Climate Justice Unity March: Day 8

Saturday, April 29, 2017 – Pleasant Hill to Iowa State Capitol (7 miles) It’s just under a seven-mile march from our church lodging in Pleasant Hill to the Iowa State Capitol for the People’s Climate Movement Rally. We set out on schedule and arrive at Sleepy Hollow for our break, just as it’s starting to rain. We know we won’t stay dry for long, but take this opportunity to sit under the facility’s patio roof for our half-hour break. There’s a car out front, suggesting staff Continue reading →