Exact Change

Lynda Waddington

At The Gazette I serve as a columnist, blogger, community engagement co-leader and member of the editorial board. I've been both an insider and observer of Iowa politics and, shockingly enough, I still enjoy it. While I write on a variety of topics, I enjoy telling the stories of everyday people most of all. My house is home to two cats, two dogs, two children, a few hundred dust bunnies, at least a couple of MIA hamsters and, of course, my spouse. Our oldest daughter was released into the wild a few years ago, and should phone her mother more often.





When local government goes viral

Johnson County officials address zoning requests throughout the year, without much fanfare. Thursday night was different.

Grant Schultz, who works a 143-acre plot of land on Strawbridge Road, near the tiny village of Morse, hoped to spur agritour ... »

Suggestions go beyond Appalachia

Economic recommendations for Appalachia unveiled by a nonprofit and four U.S. senators this week could benefit the whole of rural America, if they garner a champion.

The Appalachian region includes all of West Virginia and portions of 12 more stat ... »

Lessons from the dinner line

Sometimes we make things more difficult than they need to be.

I was standing in line at a restaurant this week. In front of me was a man in an automated wheelchair, a urine collection bag at his side. Behind me was a woman in her mid-30s, her you ... »

American culture, not Congress, is changing

New cultural research shows bumpy paths forward for both dominant political parties and better explains why economics wasn't the sole booster of Donald Trump's rise to the White House. It also proves most Americans are right: Washington, D.C., and state ... »

Trump’s top chemical hits keep coming

Between devastating hurricanes, ongoing Russia investigations and White House staffing musical chairs, it's been difficult to track policy decisions by the Trump administration. Even so, a handful of recent chemical-related decisions stand out.

E ... »

Polk Democrats’ expletive-worthy choice

Democrats will take the stage Sept. 30 when Polk County revives the state's long-standing steak fry tradition, but one female candidate has been asked to keep quiet.

Thanks to former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, a fall steak fry fundraiser has become sy ... »

How place-making can help fight opioid addiction

Six people in Council Bluffs were taken, unresponsive, to the hospital this month, apparent victims of painkillers so powerful that first-responders have been warned about touching them, but otherwise legally and easily obtained over the internet.


Parenting a freethinker made easier

Two decades ago, as our family reeled from a full-term stillbirth, I grappled with ways to help our then 6-year-old daughter work through the grief of losing an infant brother.

I searched for resources to offer reassurance and comfort, but there ... »

Equality coalition names five Women of the Year

Women and men will gather Saturday night, on Women's Equality Day, to add five more women to the ranks of those named Women of the Year.

The women, nominated by friends and co-workers, were chosen because of their commitment to improve the lives o ... »

Vets know: Nazis not ‘fine’ folks

As a cub reporter, I was sent to interview World War II veterans.

The interviews were going well, but there was one veteran - an older man in a wheelchair - not really participating. I tried to reel him into the conversation. He resisted.

... »