Thank you to Hanusa, Dawson on 911 bill
On behalf of Iowa APCO and Iowa NENA, we want to thank the 88th General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature for passing Senate File 2373. This bill made an important change to Iowa law by defining telecommunicators/911 dispatchers as public safety telecommunicators and recognizing their role as first responders.
We want to specifically thank Sen. Dan Dawson and Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa for leading the charge on this important issue. They understand emergency telecommunicators are an intricate part of the emergency response system and are typically the first public safety point of contact. Collectively, these professionals handle over 1.1 million calls a year in Iowa.
Not only did Dawson and Hanusa introduce the bills in their respective chambers, they remained committed to Iowa’s public safety professionals until the bill passed. They worked tirelessly after the COVID pause during the session to ensure unanimous passage in both chambers.
Thanks to their hard work, Iowa now joins Texas and California in recognizing public safety telecommunicators. They did this because they know 911 professionals are extensively trained and their responsiveness can be the difference in a life or death situation.
The Iowa Chapters of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and National Emergency Number Association (NENA) are individual organizations that work together for the betterment of 911, public safety, and telecommunicators across the state.
Childhood hunger magnified by COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused childhood hunger to soar to record-level highs, with one in five children in Iowa facing hunger this year. This is more than a health crisis — it’s an economic one too.
As a business owner, it’s devastating to see the impact on my industry — more than 1,000 restaurants in Iowa are now closed. As a chef, I’m committed to feeding my community, and that extends beyond the four walls of my restaurant. While I’d like to see Congress invest in helping my industry by passing the RESTAURANTS Act, our nation’s hunger crisis is a problem we can fix too.
If Congress temporarily increases SNAP benefits by 15%, those in need would receive an additional $25 each month. This benefit is a lifeline for anyone in our state facing extreme hardship right now — unemployment, rising food prices, eviction and hunger.
It’s critical that Congress gets to work on legislation that includes this SNAP increase. SNAP is one of the most effective ways to feed people and stimulate our economy.
Right now, Congress is failing hundreds of thousands of kids by delaying relief legislation and leaving nutrition assistance out of it. I urge Senators Grassley and Ernst to work with Congress to boost SNAP now.
How about a meatless Christmas?
The long-anticipated Christmas holiday is nearly upon us. It conjures visions of happy families gathered by a warm fireplace, opening presents, sharing their love, and... feasting on ham and turkey. It’s the happiest time of the year, but not for the animals.
The 222 million turkeys killed in the U.S. this year were raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. At the tender age of 16 weeks, workers cut their throats and dumped them into boiling water to remove their feathers.
Mother pigs are crammed for life in tight metal crates. Their babies are torn away, mutilated without anesthesia, stuck into crowded pens for six months, then slaughtered for Christmas ham.
Consumers pay a heavy price too. Animal flesh is laced with saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, pathogens, and antibiotics that elevate risk of chronic killer diseases.
This holiday season, let’s refuse to subsidize such wanton cruelty. Let’s choose from the large variety of plant-based meats, cheeses, ice creams, and milks that abound in every supermarket, along with nutritious fresh fruits and greens.
This year, let’s have a truly compassionate Christmas holiday, just as the Prince of Peace would counsel.
Thoughts on virus, election
Here are my thoughts short and to the point. First and foremost, the country is so scared, and tired of the virus and the deaths. Second, Joe Biden has won the election. Lets move on. We don’t need the added burden of Trump’s losing lawsuits and also his vile spewing of lies.
The people he was elected to serve and protect which he took an oath on, are suffering and dying. It’s all we can do to deal with the pandemic, much less the harm the president is doing to the country