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.





21 years of opening minds and doors

When my middle daughter, now a high school senior, began to talk about pursuing a degree in biology or chemistry, I was initially surprised. I shouldn't have been.

She's always loved math and science. Never, even as a small child, do I remember he ... »

Food is critical part of academic achievement

Researchers have long highlighted links between academic achievement and food, noting that hunger eventually manifests as cognitive issues. Newer studies show such negative outcomes aren't problems that appear years down the road.

Hunger negative ... »

Should we oust sexual harassers?

Should Iowa voters have to wait until the next election to oust officials engaging in sexual harassment? The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that may provide an answer.

The case involves Abraham Watkins, elected as Van Buren County a ... »

Transparency’s best hope: Regents lawsuit

Iowans are one step closer to learning how far former Board of Regent President Bruce Rastetter diverged from the University of Iowa president search process he put in place, and whether he and complicit regents will face consequences for mocking open m ... »

Bad teen behavior is a mirror reflecting

Can you believe it? This and similar sentiments arrive by inbox and social media feed each time teens are caught behaving badly. And, for the record, yes, I totally believe it.

The most recent national dust-up arrived courtesy of four male studen ... »

Concerts remember victims of gun violence

A national coalition of gun violence prevention artists, activists and organizations are coming together for a second annual Concert Across America. Iowa voices will rise up as part of organized events Sund ... »

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 ... »