Merry Christmas

Civic Skinny

DES MOINES CITYVIEW

Twelve drummers drumming…               

for Gabriel Espinosa and the other 29 new citizens from 16 countries sworn in at a baseball game on July 3… and for Judge Robert Pratt, who swore them in… and the 40,000 or so (who knows?) undocumented immigrants who are changing the state for the better… and the 2,800 or so Dreamers living in Iowa… for Omar Padilla and Rob Barron at the Latino Political Network… and Erica Johnson and Jody Mashek and the people at the immigrant-rights program of the American Friends Service Committee…

Eleven pipers piping…

for Schoolboy Johnson (bats left, throws right), the Negro League pitcher and, later, Des Moines Bruins outfielder who just turned 90… and former Chicago Cub (and Little League coach) Byron Browne… and Drake basketball coach Darian DeVries… for the Grand View wrestling team, which this year won its seventh straight NAIA national team title… and its 10 (count ‘em: 10) all-Americans… and coach Nick Mitchell… and Iowa amateur golf champion Mike McCoy… for Drake’s Becca Hittner… University of Iowa wrestler Spencer Lee… baseball expert John Liepa… for Laura Leonard… and Drake’s new radio guy, Michael Admire… and sports talker Ken Miller…

Ten lords a-leaping…

for Max Wellman at Noce Jazz Cabaret… and his dad, Mike… and Marty Scarpino at the Embers on Ingersoll, and we’re glad he’s back… and brother Ken Scarpino, too… for Chris Diebel and the folks at Bubba’s… and the breakfast regulars at the Cub Club… and the very nice people at Teriyaki House on East 14th… for Alexander and Whitney Hall and everyone at St. Kilda’s… and C.J. and Kari Bienert at The Cheese Shop… for Bruce Gerleman, who shepherds Splash and Jethro’s… and, of course, for the Food Dude…

Nine ladies dancing…

for Kim Reynolds, the first woman to be elected governor of this state… and the victorious women politicians of Polk County: Jennifer Konfrst and Heather Matson and Karin Derry and Claire Celsi and Kristin Sunde — who are joining the Polk County delegation in the Legislature… and repeat winners Marti Anderson and Ruth Ann Gaines and Jo Oldson, too… and especially Janet Peterson, who Counts the Kicks… and Angela Connelly, re-elected to the Board of Supervisors… and Amber Gustafson, who came close in Ankeny… and for Cindy Axne, our new Congress member… and her new colleague Abby Finkenauer…

Eight maids a-milking…

for Harry Hillaker, who has retired after 37 years as state climatologist, and for Justin Glisan, his successor… for everyone at linly.com, especially Troy McCullough who is back in America… for Kathie Anderson at Tandem Brick Gallery… for Zachary and Mackenzie and Christopher and Maggie, the world’s best grandchildren… for Gary Galinsky… for Mark Eggers… for new neighbors Kirk and Janel Tyler… and baseball fans Mike and Mary Pitcher… and Christy Anderson, who is nice to people and cats…

Seven swans a-swimming…

for Lynn Hicks and Anna Backstrom and Kyle Munson and Mackenzie Elmer and Aaron Young and Grant Rodgers and Mark Marturello and Lauren Ehler and Jason Noble and Clark Kauffman and all the others who left the Register’s newsroom during the year… and former publisher David Chivers, too… for the retiring Dave Busiek of KCCI, newly named to the Iowa Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame… and his successor, Allison Smith… for Andy Garman, who has moved on to new things, and Scott Reister, the new boss at Channel 8 sports… for Rick Brown and Indianola’s Ken Fuson and John Carlson — three great reporters… for Bodie Birch (and mom and dad Allyson and Tommy)… for Kevin Cooney (and bring back Wonks!)… and Mollie, too… and Alex… for Kay Henderson… for indefatigable bloggers Laura Belin and Pat Rynard… and freedom fighters Mike Giudicessi and Randy Evans…

Six geese a-laying…

for Supreme Court Justice Daryl Hecht, Chief Appellate Judge David Danilson and Chief District Judge Art Gamble — all of whom are retiring… and new Supreme Court Justice Susan Christensen… for Lucy, the court’s top dog… for Chris Godfrey and his lawyer, Roxanne Conlin… for Danny Homan and his lawyer, Mark Hedberg… for everyone at the Roosevelt Barber Shop… and all those nice people at the downtown Hy-Vee… for retiring sheriff Bill McCarthy — and thanks for everything — and probable incoming sheriff Kevin Schneider…

Five golden rings…

for Gary Palmer and Kurt Rasmussen, who keep pouring Prairie Meadows money back into the community… and Bob and Laurel Kirke… for John Mauro, who gave his all… for Adam Emmenecker — the man, not the sandwich… and Earl Short, who loves streetcars… for Art and Gloria Filean… for Lynn Yontz at the community foundation… for the ageless Chuck Betts and his pal George Turner… for Dr. Bob Shreck, who reads CITYVIEW… and Celeste Tilton, who designs it…

Four collie birds…

for Fred and Charlotte Hubbell, who love this state and proved it… for State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald, who always wins, which is a good thing… for David Johnson, who will be missed in the Iowa Senate… for Maya Miller, who’s off to college… and her uncle Marty… for Nancy Winget, who keeps track of things… and so does Katie Miller… for Steve Beckley… and everyone who works for him… for Chris Anderson at the Playhouse… for Julie Stewart and her mom…

Three French hens…

for Neal Smith, who also loves Iowa and who showered it with largesse during 36 years in Congress and who now — going on 99 — rarely misses a meeting or a lecture or anything else of interest. Enjoy Gray’s Lake and Brown’s Woods? They’re public parks because of him. And so are Rathbun Lake and Saylorville Lake and the Des Moines River Greenbelt. And, of course, the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge. He is an expert on the past and, still, a thinker about the future. Farmer, soldier, lawyer, legislator — there is no one like him…

Two turtle doves…

for Kristin Steele at the county… and Joseph Barry at the state… for Beth Giudicessi, who may or may not be the employee of the year (there’s a recount)… for new supervisor Matt McCoy — and his colleagues Steve Van Oort and Bob Brownell and Angela Connolly (who gets two mentions today) and Tom Hockensmith, who worry about the needy and do something about it… for everyone in the Polk County Election Office, especially John Chiodo and Rosemary Moody…

And a partridge in a pear tree…

in memory of the wonderful Dan Miller and the witty Don Forsling… and Gil Cranberg, who made us think… and Don Kaul, who made us laugh… for Bob Ray, who changed the state… and Johnny Danos, who knew the numbers… for Bill Sailor and Sean Sellers and Ralph Schlenker… for Donna Red Wing, fighter and advocate and protector… for Tom Slater and his wife Valentina Slater Fominykh… for Florence Buhr and Mary Grefe, who got involved… and Michael Sadler… for Meredith’s Bob Burnett and David Jordan… for Larry Cotlar, who always had a good word… and Gene Ratffensperger, a terrific newspaperman with an equally terrific laugh… and the inventive (and nice) Eugene Sukup… oh-so-sadly for Iowa State golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena and Iowa’s Mollie Tibbetts… and reporter Larry Fruhling… and B.J. Furgerson… for Giles Fowler, who taught newspapermen… and Leonard Boswell, farmer and soldier and politician… for pollster and artist Glenn Roberts, who was ahead of his time… for Red Hollis… and, always, for the first Christopher.