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Editorial summary: Iowa | Iowa News

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Dubuque Telegraph Herald. November 21, 2021.

Editorial: The Dubuque community is grateful to John Deere, its employees

This week, as people from all walks of life take a moment to reflect on all they need to be grateful for, many in our community will be thanking the end of the Deere & Co strike.

In addition to Deere employees – union and non-union – who felt the direct impact, the wider community also had a stake in these negotiations. Many people remember the 1980s and the impact of the Deere strikes on the community. They know the vital role Dubuque County’s largest employer plays in the local economy, as well as a network of other Deere-related businesses. The community heaved a collective sigh of relief on Wednesday when a new contract was ratified.

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The contract approval ended a five-week work stoppage that marked the first major strike by Deere workers in 35 years. And just like that, hours later, the workers returned to the factories for the third shift. Officials said on Thursday that workers across the country were getting production back to full capacity.

Almost every family in the region has been touched in one way or another by the presence of the global manufacturer among us for almost 85 years. The community of Dubuque can understand what this employer has meant for the livelihoods of so many local people.

It’s not just because John Deere Dubuque Works is the region’s largest employer, with more than 2,800 employees. It’s not just because 40 years ago the factory employed up to 8,000 people. The impact of providing good jobs for so many years has a ripple effect in the community.

In the Dubuque area, getting a job with John Deere has long been a coveted goal. Working at “Deere”, as the locals say, meant a good salary and great benefits for a top quality company. Hundreds, if not thousands, of others have made their living from Deere through indirect contacts as suppliers and providers of other services. The community as a whole has benefited from the thousands of volunteer hours that the company and its employees invest each year.

Deere has reiterated its commitment to the region by repeatedly reinvesting in the community. An example came during the pandemic when the John Deere Foundation donated $ 1.7 million to the River Bend Food Bank, which includes St. Stephen’s Food Bank in Dubuque and supports more than 300 partner agencies in 23 counties. from eastern Iowa and western Illinois, including Dubuque, Jackson and Jo Daviess counties. This donation allowed River Bend to increase capacity when it needed it most.

On the occasion of Thanksgiving, we are offering a green and gold tribute to Deere for its vital presence in our community over the years. Among the blessings we have this week will be a tough and productive John Deere Dubuque Works. This is something our entire community should be thankful for.

Quad-City Times. November 21, 2021.

Editorial: A rare victory for all of us

A week ago, President Joe Biden enacted the $ 1 trillion infrastructure package.

Aiming to reverse years of neglect, the measure will be a landmark investment to rebuild bridges and roads, replace aging lead water pipes and extend broadband to rural areas. The new law will mean more money for upgrades to freight and passenger trains, as well as improvements to public transportation; and it will look to the future with substantial new investments in renewable energy.

No one should minimize what happened last Monday. It was a major achievement.

For years, politicians from both parties have talked about doing something about infrastructure, but that is mostly what it has been: talk.

The American people are rightfully cynical about politics in Washington, DC Everything Congress seems to do is argue. There is rarely a bipartisan agreement on anything. But not this time.

Thirteen House Republicans and 19 Senate Republicans, including Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, joined most Democrats in supporting this package.

Sadly, many of these Republicans are now suffering from the pain of some members of their party for their votes. That’s a shame. Polls have consistently shown over the years that the American people, Republicans and Democrats, support new infrastructure investments. It would have been a shame to see this bill fail.

Now the state and federal governments must ensure that the money is spent wisely.

There is a lot of need.

In Iowa, the state has consistently ranked among the worst when it comes to the condition of its bridges. Almost 1 in 5 people are structurally deficient. According to the White House, this law should represent 432 million dollars for the repair of bridges over five years.

In Illinois, the $ 15 billion nationwide to replace obsolete and unsafe lead water pipes should also be welcome. The state has more miles of lead water pipes than any other state in the country.

We hope that as this funding is rolled out, our congressional and state delegations will be aggressive in promoting projects that will make a difference here in the Quad-Cities.

In Rock Island County, there is still work to be done to improve Interstate-74, widening it from Cities Avenue to the Rock River and improving connections to John Deere Road.

In Scott County, these new funds could also mean faster progress towards widening Interstate-80 between Interstate-280 and LeClaire. The hallway has become more crowded over the years and is in need of changes, which the State DOT has already recognized.

We hope that this money could also mean substantial investments in the system of locks and dams on the Mississippi River.

It would help farmers in both states, not to mention job creation. Which is another selling point for this legislation – what it will do for our economy.

We noticed last week that Illinois Governor JB Pritzker touted the infrastructure package for its promise to advance passenger rail transportation as well, including in Quad-Cities.

It’s always good to see the governor looking our way, and we’re glad that passenger rail in this area is still on his radar. But we’re also aware that the Chicago-Moline connection has been around for a long time. Almost $ 180 million in federal funds have been in the bank for more than 10 years, waiting to be spent. As we celebrate these historic new investments in Illinois infrastructure, would it be too much to ask for this rail link to be sped up?

A few weeks ago, Under Secretary of State for Transport Doug House said the connection was still “several years away.” This is hardly encouraging.

That said, we remain hopeful that this new infrastructure package will make a big difference, in the Quad-Cities and around the country; that funding will make our roads and bridges safer and more efficient to use; that our water will be cleaner and our public transportation system will work better. And, ultimately, we hope this legislation will live up to the promise of making the United States more competitive in the world.

Despite all the political fighting going on in Washington, DC, it’s worth stopping to recognize this bill for what it is: a time when members of both parties stood up and gave to the people American what he said he wanted. And isn’t that what our elected officials are supposed to do?

We hope this will not be Washington’s last bipartisan achievement.

We hope that investments like this, which the American people support, are not just good policy; but they also make good politics.

Fort Dodge Messenger. November 16, 2021.

Editorial: Solar project brings more renewable energy to Webster County

Iowa isn’t generally a place people would think of as a hotbed of solar power generation. Sounds like a better description of sunny Arizona, not Iowa.

But some experts working in the field of solar energy have calculated that the sunlight that illuminates our state can indeed be harnessed to generate electricity. To take advantage of the sunlight, an array of solar panels is being built on 850 acres near 160th Street and Samson Avenue.

This facility, being built by Holliday Creek Solar LLC, of ​​Minneapolis, Minnesota, will route electricity to a nearby MidAmerican Energy substation, where it will enter the transmission grid. It will be the largest solar power site in the MidAmerican Energy system.

At present, a forest of vertical supports fills the area. The solar panels, each measuring seven feet long and three and a half feet wide, will be mounted on these brackets.

There will be 275,000 of these signs. Each of them will produce 440 watts of electricity.

All of these panels combined will produce 100 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough to power 16,000 typical homes.

Think about it for a moment. This solar site will produce enough juice to power all the lights, appliances, computers, televisions and other electrical appliances in 16,000 homes. And it will do it without burning a lump of coal or sending anything up a chimney.

Essentially, the solar panels will stay there and absorb the sun and the result will be usable electricity.

Webster County Supervisor Mark Campbell has previously said the county will be an energy exporter when this facility goes live. He described it as “incredibly exciting”.

Because such a large solar power plant is totally new to the county, there will inevitably be complaints about it. Maybe someone will complain that the place looks weird or ugly.

We think it’s more important to focus on the big picture. This network of solar panels will generate much needed electricity without emitting pollution or greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It is something that we can all benefit from.

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