Evans: Barta’s management under scrutiny — again

There’s so much anxiety going around Iowa City now, and Maalox could easily qualify as the official summer beverage. There’s anxiety over what the fall semester will look like at the University of Iowa, with coronavirus still a fact of life in the community and enforcement of social distancing next to impossible in dormitories, classrooms and student hangouts. There’s anxiety over how many students will decide to sit out the coming school year because of concern for their health. A significant drop in the university’s enrollment could cause the school’s financial problems to mushroom. There’s anxiety over how coronavirus will change the Hawkeyes’ football season, the social event of the fall in Iowa City and the biggest revenue-generating sport for the UI Athletics Department.

Police training is broken. Can it be fixed?

In late May, when video began circulating of George Floyd trapped under the knee of a police officer, struggling to breathe, it was the latest reminder of America’s failure to address the racism and brutality that pervades U.S. policing. For those who train and educate law enforcement officials, Floyd’s death — along with the recent police killings of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and other Black Americans — was also a moment of reckoning, prompting some of those educators to examine their role in preparing officers for a profession responsible for so much senseless violence. In Virginia, where community colleges enrolled some 2,200 students last year in programs designed to train law enforcement officials, school system administrators decided it was time to review their curricula for future officers. Across the country, in California, Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the state’s community college system, called for a similar examination of police training. A few college police academies announced their own reviews.

Evans: State Fair meeting was an affront to open government

The decision last week to cancel the Iowa State Fair was a reminder of the seriousness of coronavirus and the consequences of many people’s anxiety about returning to activities that normally are an important part of Iowa life. But the State Fair’s decision also illuminated an embarrassing disconnect from the norms of government transparency and accountability in our state. I have attended government meetings for 50 years – from small-town city councils and school boards, to state boards and commissions. I have never seen or heard about a more outrageous abuse of the principle of open government than the State Fair Board exhibited last week. Randy Evans
STRAY THOUGHTS
Randy Evans is the executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council.

2020 and 2018 polling sites in Iowa’s 99 counties

Iowa voters went to polls to cast votes in the June 2 primary amid a global pandemic. Election officials took precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19, which included in many counties reducing the number of polling sites. Here is a comparison to the number of sites in the June 2018 primaries, a IowaWatch and Iowa Freedom of Information Council collaboration. READ THE RELATED STORY: 24 rural Iowa counties opt for single polling site amid COVID-19 concerns
Adair
5 in 2020
5 in 2018

Adams
1 in 2020
5 in 2018

Allamakee
3 in 2020
11 in 2018

Appanoose
3 in 2020
12 in 2018

Audubon
1 in 2020
2 in 2018

Benton
9 in 2020
19 in 2018

Black Hawk
7 in 2020
62 in 2018

Boone
3 in 2020
15 in 2018

Bremer
10 in 2020
13 in 2018

Buchanan
3 in 2020
15 in 2018

Buena Vista
2 in 2020
10 in 2018

Butler
1 in 2020
9 in 2018

Calhoun
3 in 2020
10 in 2018

Carroll
1 in 2020
13 in 2018

Cass
5 in 2020
13 in 2018

Cedar
12 in 2020
12 in 2018

Cerro Gordo
10 in 2020
26 in 2018

Cherokee
2 in 2020
7 in 2018

Chickasaw
2 in 2020
8 in 2018

Clarke
1 in 2020
7 in 2018

Clay
1 in 2020
7 in 2018

Clayton
1 in 2020
10 in 2018

Clinton
5 in 2020
26 in 2018

Crawford
1 in 2020
8 in 2018

Dallas
8 in 2020
34 in 2018

Davis
1 in 2020
6 in 2018

Decatur
1 in 2020
7 in 2018

Delaware
12 in 2020
12 in 2018

Des Moines
2 in 2020
16 in 2018

Dickinson
1 in 2020
5*

Dubuque
9 in 2020
35 in 2018

Emmet
1 in 2020
11 in 2018

Fayette
2 in 2020
14 in 2018

Floyd
1 in 2020
8 in 2018

Franklin
1 in 2020
12 in 2018

Fremont
1 in 2020
5 in 2018

Greene
2 in 2020
7 in 2018

Grundy
3 in 2020
7 in 2018

Guthrie
3 in 2020
8 in 2018

Hamilton
2 in 2020
8 in 2018

Hancock
2 in 2020
10 in 2018

Hardin
2 in 2020
8 in 2018

Harrison
1 in 2020
13 in 2018

Henry
9 in 2020
9 in 2018

Howard
6 in 2020
6 in 2018

Humboldt
2 in 2020
9 in 2018

Ida
1 in 2020
7 in 2018

Iowa
5 in 2020
8 in 2018

Jackson
16 in 2020
16 in 2018

Jasper
6 in 2020
20 in 2018

Jefferson
12 in 2020
12 in 2018

Johnson
46 in 2020
57 in 2018

Jones
8 in 2020
12 in 2018

Keokuk
1 in 2020
15 in 2018

Kossuth
1 in 2020
20 in 2018

Lee
3 in 2020
22 in 2018

Linn
19 in 2020
78 in 2018

Louisa
3 in 2020
5 in 2018

Lucas
7 in 2020
7 in 2018

Lyon
1 in 2020
7 in 2018

Madison
3 in 2020
8 in 2018

Mahaska
2 in 2020
11 in 2018

Marion
5 in 2020
17 in 2018

Marshall
7 in 2020
15 in 2018

Mills
4 in 2020
11 in 2018

Mitchell
1 in 2020
11 in 2018

Monona
7 in 2020
11 in 2018

Monroe
4 in 2020
7 in 2018

Montgomery
2 in 2020
7 in 2018

Muscatine
6 in 2020
23 in 2018

O’Brien
2 in 2020
9 in 2018

Osceola
3 in 2020
8 in 2018

Page
3 in 2020
8 in 2018

Palo Alto
3 in 2020
3 in 2018

Plymouth
1 in 2020
13 in 2018

Pocahontas
5 in 2020
7 in 2018

Polk
28 in 2020
135 in 2018

Pottawattamie
5 in 2020
40 in 2018

Poweshiek
3 in 2020
8 in 2018

Ringgold
5 in 2020
7 in 2018

Sac
4 in 2020
9 in 2018

Scott
23 in 2020
63 in 2018

Shelby
5 in 2020
5 in 2018

Sioux
5 in 2020
10 in 2018

Story
10 in 2020
43 in 2018

Tama
8 in 2020
14 in 2018

Taylor
6 in 2020
7 in 2018

Union
3 in 2020
8 in 2018

Van Buren
8 in 2020
8 in 2018

Wapello
9 in 2020
22 in 2018

Warren
7 in 2020
31 in 2018

Washington
4 in 2020
11 in 2018

Wayne
4 in 2020
4 in 2020

Webster
3 in 2020
28 in 2018

Winnebago
3 in 2020
10 in 2018

Winneshiek
3 in 2020
10 in 2018

Woodbury
5 in 2020
42 in 2018

Worth
1 in 2020
7 in 2018

Wright
1 in 2020
5 in 2018
*narrowed in recent elections

Evans: The benefit that comes from perspective

The shackles could not hold us. The Evanses cast them aside last week and traveled to Bloomfield and Cedar Rapids to visit our parents. There are few social distancing concerns when you are standing quietly in a cemetery with your spouse, and your thoughts. Every time I make the trip to Bloomfield and stop at the neatly tended expanse up the hill from the Fox River, there are many topics I wish I could chat about with Mom and Pop. Most would deal with family – what Sue and I have been up to, our two daughters, and how much we wish Mom and Pop could have the pleasure of knowing these delightful young women.

Tell us about your mental health struggles amid COVID-19, other disasters

We’re digging into the stressful toll of wildfires, hurricanes and floods — and now COVID-19 on top of them. We need your help. Every year, weather-related disasters ravage communities across the United States, creating scenes traumatic and, increasingly, familiar. Deadly firestorms throughout the West. Historic floods in the Farm Belt. Catastrophic hurricanes with record rains in the South and along the East Coast.