Follow BFIA on Twitter
Blog for Iowa Archives
Blog for Iowa Categories
Search BFIA by Date
March 2015
« Feb    

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Fight Media Bias


Iowa Rapid Response Action

First responders to biased, imbalanced or factually inaccurate media coverage

Iowans for Better Local TV


FAIR: Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

*FAIR is a national media watch group that offers well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship

Free Press

News Corpse

Prometheus Radio Project

Radio for People

Save the Internet

Save the News

Posts Tagged ‘Iowa water quality’

What If The Governor Gave A Speech And Nobody Cared?

cat care-o-meter“Vice President Joe Biden often says ‘Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.’ The Governor’s budget is a perfect example of Iowa values not being reflected in a state budget,” said Citizens for a Healthy Iowa Executive Director Mark Langgin.

 “Governor Branstad doesn’t place a high value on investing in our natural resources to protect sources of clean drinking water and water for recreation & industry. There are over 600 impaired rivers, lakes and streams statewide, and source water from Iowa’s largest city contains dangerously high levels of nitrate. We need sustained long-term funding for clean water – and investing less than 25 cents per acre in dedicated water quality money is not enough to protect Iowans health and quality of life.”

Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic issued the following statement In response to the Governor’s remarks, which also failed to mention poverty or minimum wage:

“Governor Branstad failed middle class Iowans today. He refused to even say the words ‘middle class’ while at the same time heaping praise on a number of out of state corporations. The Governor’s priorities are completely out of step with everyday Iowans, who know that the foundation of our economy and our state’s success is a strong and growing middle class.”

“Governor Branstad’s distorted jobs math proves that he has no respect for working Iowans. The Governor inflates the number of jobs created by not counting jobs that have been lost, insulting every Iowan who has lost work during his term in office. An accurate accounting of Iowa’s job growth is less than half as many as the Governor claims.”

“The Governor also refused to bring up a minimum wage increase, or acknowledge the 300,000 workers who would benefit from an increase. Unfortunately, minimum wage workers in Iowa have waited longer than those in any other state for a raise.”

“Governor Branstad’s refusal to mention the middle class, poverty, or minimum wage during his Condition of the State address today was disappointing but not surprising. His failure to prioritize the needs of middle class working families has never been more clear.”

Paul Deaton took a larger, more philosophical view on the Governor’s remarks, so today we give Paul and Plato the last word.

A couple of progressive web commenters complained that Branstad used fallacious job creation numbers and made no mention of “middle class priorities” like increasing the minimum wage. There was a decided lack of interest in the speech, so few were likely listening to the commentators or the governor.

No one is listening. There is a lack of interest in government among a middle class that makes up most of 3.1 million Iowans. If some have their interests, written on a legislative agenda, most do not. The disinterest goes beyond what the 86th Iowa General Assembly does or does not accomplish.

The bubble in which we Americans live is real and is becoming the ridicule of the world. It is as if we took what’s best about our country and locked it up in a strongbox to protect it from those who might steal it. We venture from our borders to loot planetary resources, wage war and assert hegemony where we can. We have become exceptional in these things and our culture is the less for it.

Plaato quote


Iowans Carol For Clean Water

cci  Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement


Manure Spills Causing Toxic Algae In More Iowa Lakes

email inboxThanks CCI (Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement) for sounding the alarm on toxic algae!

First it was Ohio, then Lake Red Rock in Iowa, and now it’s Big Creek Lake – toxic blue-green algae has struck again.

A reader sent us this photo that he took at Big Creek Lake last week with this comment: “Can see from the photo that water quality is one of Branstad and the DNRs’ top priorities…”

The toxic algae’s unpleasant odors and potentially dangerous health effects cannot be ignored.

blue-green toxic algae EMAIL(1)This toxic algae growth is caused by runoff from corporate ag, including factory farms.

When we look at the number of manure spills, just in the past year, the growth of this harmful algae is not surprising.

55 manure spills since Sept. 2013 when the DNR signed the Clean Water Act Work Plan – that’s over 1 manure spill per week. ​​​

The DNR must issue permits to these manure polluters – here is one action you take right now:

Share this photo on FB to keep the #cleanwaterfight in the public eye!

October is going to be a busy month for the #cleanwaterfight – stay tuned!

They DUMP it, you DRINK it, we won’t stop ’til they clean it up,

The Iowa CCI Crew

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
2001 Forest Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311-3229
515-282-0484 .

Iowa Water Quality Public Hearings This Week

cciHere’s a note from CCI:

The rule passed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) two weeks ago brings Iowa closer into compliance with the Clean Water Act for the first time ever. But, it can be stronger, and the DNR must enforce it. That’s where your voice comes in!

The DNR is gathering Iowans’ thoughts on improving the state’s water quality goals as part of its three-year review of water quality standards and goals.

Can you attend a water quality hearing and remind the DNR what must be done for a Clean Water Iowa?

These public meetings are being held in the following places:

Today! Sept. 3, 4 to 6 p.m.
Spencer Public Library (Round Room), 21 East Third St.

Thursday, Sept. 4, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Washington Public Library (Nicholas Stoufer Room), 115 West Washington

West Des Moines
Monday, Sept. 8, 10 to 12 p.m.
West Des Moines Public Library (Community Room), 4000 Mills Civic Parkway

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Falcon Civic Center, 1305 Fifth Ave. NE

Clear Lake
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 4 to 6 p.m.
Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce Lakeview Room, 10 North Lakeview Drive

Here is what we need to make sure the DNR doesn’t forget:

You must ramp up the inspections to find and fix problems at factory farms.
You must issue clean water act permits to all factory farms.
There must be tough fines and penalties for polluters.
Of course, tell the DNR why clean water is important to you personally!

They DUMP it, you DRINK it, we won’t stop ’til they clean it up,

The Iowa CCI Crew

P.S. Can’t make one of the hearings? Submit written comments by Oct. 15 to: Rochelle Weiss, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 502 East Ninth St., Des Moines, IA 50319, or by e-mailing

Iowa, We Have A Water Problem

“Because of runoff from our farms, we have more than 600 polluted rivers, lakes and streams, causing a nitrate surge in our drinking water.”  Find out more here:


This Week On The Fallon Forum: ISU Police Chase, Water, Climate Change, SNAP

fallon forumDear Friends,

The police chase and shooting death on the Iowa State University campus last week has been the subject of much conversation, not just in Iowa but across the country. Was the use of deadly force by the police officer justified? What was going on in the driver’s mind as he was tearing around campus? At what point does one’s vehicle become a deadly weapon?

Monday, attorney Joseph Glazebrook and Dr. Charles Goldman join me to analyze the tragic event at ISU last week. We also discuss the Greece v. Galloway case before the U.S. Supreme Court, addressing prayer at city council meetings.

Tuesday, local farmer Mark Peterson joins us to discuss water quality, and Suman Hoque with HoQ Restaurant talks about the growth in the local foods movement. We may also weigh-in on the debate over SNAP, a.k.a., food stamps.

Wednesday, we talk with Jon Neiderbach, who is throwing his hat into the race for State Auditor on the Democratic ticket. We also discuss climate change in light of the tragic typhoon which struck the Philippines last week.

Thursday, we talk with Joe Henry, candidate for Des Moines City Council in the upcoming special election. We also talk with Joe about the efforts of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) and other organizations to confront voter suppression, both here in Iowa and most egregiously in Texas.

Join us live, Monday-Thursday, from 6:00-6:30 pm on the Fallon Forum website. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 and add your voice to the dialogue. Video and audio-only podcasts available after the program. The Fallon Forum also can be heard on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) Wednesdays at 5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Thanks!


This Week On The Fallon Forum: Elections, Climate Change, Water Quality, Gun Safety

fallon forum Tuesday is a big day in Iowa. It’s Election Day, and in 950 cities across the state, voters will elect city council members and, in some cases, mayors. If recent trends are any indication, turnout will be embarrassingly low. Voting tomorrow is a good idea for three reasons:

1. Voting makes a difference! Lest we forget, George Bush beat Al Gore by only 200 votes in the 2000 General Election. (Okay, the other school of thought says Bush didn’t actually win but was appointed by the US Supreme Court. But we won’t go there today.) And as a state lawmaker I sat between Becky Reynolds, who won her first election by 142 votes, and Bill Witt, who won his first election by only 16 votes. Iowa is a better place because of their service.

2. Local officials are (or should be) accessible. Arguably, local government has a more profound impact on our day-to-day lives than any other level of government. You can call Des Moines City Councilman Skip Moore and say, “Hey Skip, what’s this bug eating my redbud tree?” There’s a good chance Skip’ll be out there to look at your tree the next day. Try getting that kind of response from your state or federal elected officials.

3. Democracy depends on it! Sure, there are plenty of other things democracy depends on. Freedom of speech. The right to assemble. Public education. Strong local economies. Baseball. But who we elect to represent us, the folks in charge of enacting laws and ordinances, is critical. We want good people doing that, do we not? Letting a bunch of zombies run city government is not going to be good for you or your redbud tree. Fortunately, in Des Moines at least, we are not at risk of zombies winning any of the three seats on the ballot. All of the candidates are respectable, non-flesh eating types. And I thank those who came on my program and share their views: Skip Moore, Cal Woods, Chris Diebel, Bill Gray and Jean Minahan.

Monday, Jonathan Neiderbach and I preview this week’s Des Moines City Council election. We also look at the $81 million proposal for courthouse improvements and expansion in Polk County. We take a look at some of the city council races in metro suburbs as well.

Tuesday, we have an extended program (5:30-6:30) and discuss last week’s developments on the climate-change front. We talk with Kathleen McQuillen of American Friends Service Committee about drones. Josh Mandelbaum of the Environmental Law and Policy Center joins us to discuss the ongoing conflict over Iowa’s water quality. And Cheryl Thomas with Iowans for Gun Safety weighs in on the latest tragic school shooting in Nevada.

Wednesday, Graham Gillette joins Jonathan Neiderbach and me for a review of the outcome of Tuesday’s election. We also discuss the shape of next year’s statewide and federal elections. And we remind folks of the upcoming Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit on November 9th at Drake University.

Thursday, State Rep. Dan Kelley is back in the studio with us. And we talk with Michael Garvin with the Caribbean Renewable Energy Consortium.

Join us live, Monday-Thursday, from 6:00-6:30 pm on the Fallon Forum website. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 and add your voice to the dialogue. Video and audio-only podcasts available after the program. The Fallon Forum also can be heard on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) Wednesdays at 5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Thanks!



Meanwhile Back In Iowa… Manure-Laden Water!

fish killDNR Investigates Fish Kill in Lyon County

DOON – On Labor Day, the Iowa DNR investigated a fish kill on the Little Rock River east of Doon in Lyon County.

A concerned citizen reported the fish kill to DNR Monday morning. When environmental specialists arrived at the river, they found high levels of ammonia, odor and color indicating manure-laden water killed the fish.

They traced the runoff to two open feedlots north and east of Doon belonging to Jim Koedam and Marvin VanMaanen. Both producers raise beef cattle.

The area received about two inches of rain Saturday night. The preliminary investigation indicates manure-laden runoff ran overland and then into draws that flow to the river.

DNR staff found dead fish along a two-mile section of stream starting about 1.5 miles north of the Highway 75 bridge. The dead fish included many smallmouth bass and channel catfish, along with carp, suckers, largemouth bass, gar, chubs and minnows.

DNR fisheries specialists are on site Tuesday conducting a fish count. The DNR will continue to monitor the clean up and consider appropriate enforcement action.

Prompt reporting of the fish kill allowed the DNR to trace the source of pollution and stop it quickly. It’s important to report fish kills and spills to the state’s 24-hour spill line at 515-281-8694 as quickly as possible.

And how about this lovely incident of “improper manure release” in Steve King’s District last Thursday:

INWOOD, Iowa | An improper release of thousands of gallons of manure Thursday into an unnamed tributary of the Rock River has led to high levels of ammonia in the water.

An Iowa Department of Natural Resources news release said the manure came from a solids settling basin at a 4,000-head open cattle lot owned by John Fluit Jr.

Fluit improperly unloaded 12 loads of manure, ranging from 2,500 to 4,000 gallons, onto a cornfield. From the cornfield the manure ran into a creek, where it was carried about a mile down to a neighbor’s pond. The manure then flowed out the pond’s outlet and back into the creek, the release said.

click here to read the entire story:/

Attend Environmental Lobby Day 2013 At The Iowa Statehouse


The Iowa Environmental Council cordially invites members and supporters to our 2013 Environmental Lobby Day at the statehouse.

This year’s event will be especially memorable because members of the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Alliance and the Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy (IWLL) Coalition are also planning to turn out in large numbers to support clean water and a healthy Iowa Environment.  (The Council is a member of both groups.)

WHERE:  First floor rotunda, Iowa State Capitol building, Des Moines
WHEN:  Tuesday, February 26, 2012, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (We’re planning a short press conference for mid-morning; the exact time will be announced soon.)

Commit to attend Lobby Day in person and we’ll send you updates about the event by e-mail!

**Click here to commit to attend 2013 Environmental Lobby Day!**

Environmental Lobby Day is your chance to join with a broad coalition of Iowans to talk with your elected representatives in person about why protecting Iowa’s air, water, and land really matters.  We encourage all friends of Iowa’s environment to join us in person for this event.

You are welcome to drop in any time throughout the day, but we will hold a short press conference at 11:00 a.m. that we encourage you to attend.


Supporters of clean water are encouraged to wear blue for this event.

8:00 a.m. Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy will hold a briefing on the Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund in the Wallace Building Auditorium.

Following that, supporters will walk across Grand Avenue to the statehouse to meet with legislators.  Iowa Environmental Council member and partner organizations will have table displays in the Rotunda.

11:00 a.m. The Iowa Environmental Council will hold a brief press conference highlighting our key legislative priorities.

Never lobbied before?  No problem.  Iowa Environmental Council staff will be on hand throughout the day to support you, and you’ll be able to pick up a handy guide to the Council’s legislative priorities to help you decide what you’d like to talk about.  It also never hurts to bring a friend to join you as you chat with legislators.

Can’t travel to Des Moines?  This is the perfect time to join our Action Alert Network.  On February 26, we’ll e-mail you a link to contact your legislators via e-mail.  It’s a great way to participate from wherever you live.  And as an Action Alert Volunteer, you’ll be ready to speak out to decision-makers on a variety of environmental issues right when it matters most.



You Can Help Save Iowa’s Raccoon River For A Dollar

Next Raccoon River Watershed Association (RRWA) Meeting–Hotel Pattee, Downtown, Perry, Iowa

Friday –Dec. 7

7:30 p.m.  Show “America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. “Ding” Darling” --Hotel Pattee, Perry, Iowa,

Saturday–Dec. 8,   9:30—11:00 a.m.  Board meeting

General Meeting–11:00 to 11:25 –Sandra Somers (CUSV) editor of the new book: “Storm over Raccoon River” will talk about how locals formed Citizens United to Save the Valley and stopped the Army Corps of Engineers from building the Jefferson Dam on the North Raccoon River. Copies of the book will be available.

11:30–12:00–Susan Heathcote (Iowa Environmental Council Water Quality Specialist) will talk about pollution reduction strategies for the Raccoon River.

“—The Raccoon River Watershed Association is a group of citizens dedicated to the stewardship of the Raccoon River. It seeks to preserve and enhance the river and its watershed. It will strive to improve the quality of the river and its watershed so that citizens can safely enjoy swimming, fishing, canoeing, hunting, hiking, bird watching and other outdoor recreational activities. The association will engage in education, networking, cleanup, assessment and policy making to achieve these ends.”

Dues special!   $1

Join!   Send $1, name, phone, e-mail address to Mike Murphy

6507 Del Matro, Windsor Heights, Ia 50324