From left, Danielle Colby, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz speak to their "American Pickers" fans at a 2010 LeClaire festival in honor of the reality TV show.


Thumbs up to students from Iowa's public universities for this week lobbying for common sense legislation that could save lives.

Students from the state's three major universities packed the Statehouse in support of SF 415, which would grant immunity from many potential alcohol-related charges after dialing 911 to report an alcohol overdose.

The legislation grapples with reality. We urge lawmakers to approve it this session. 

Thumbs down to Iowa's so-called water quality bill that's both redundant and inadequate.

Des Moines Water Works forced the issue of Iowa's nitrate-filled rivers and streams years ago when it unsuccessfully sued water districts in four rural upstream counties. Iowa Legislature, this year, has promised action. 

But the $27 million bill now under construction lacks any mechanisms to gauge whether the effort is working. You got it, there's no cash for actually measuring the results.

There's a word for this type of effort: disingenuous.

It's also unnecessary. Years ago, Iowa voters approved a fund that would pay for the necessary steps toward actually addressing the state's soiled waterways. The account has never seen a penny, nor would it under the draft legislation.

Lawmakers would take two steps if they were serious about addressing Iowa's water quality issues. They would fund the account created in 2010's Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Act with a sales tax bump instead of taking more money from already tapped state coffers. And they would apply science to actually know if the effort is working. 

Thumbs up to Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and Danielle Colby-Cushman for eight years of strong public relations for eastern Iowa.

This week marked the eight-year anniversary of History Channel's "American Pickers," where Wolfe and Fritz tour the country combing through people's barns and cellars for oil cans and mid-century signage. "LeClaire, Iowa" is emblazoned on the pair's van and they often talk about their Iowa roots.

Their original Antique Archaeology shop in LeClaire is a legitimate tourist draw. And the trio have done a fantastic job putting a face on the region. 


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