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TALKING POINTS: What could possibly go wrong?

Way to go, Iowa Democrats. A technical glitch or two caused what the media billed as “caucus chaos” last week.

Media was left waiting for the results on a night with millions in advertising on the line, travel expenses for sending their top political gurus to the state, and expensive pundits sitting around sets ready to pounce on some official results.

Our hearts go out to media executives who might have suffered as a result.

At least the major TV networks stuck with their regular entertainment programming.

As one who spent his formative years in the great Hawkeye state, also known as the Land of Corn, that was a little disappointing.

Although the results began trickling in, Democrats have a lot of work to do on the west bank of the Mississippi.

Relax Illinois

Our March 17 primary will be perfect.

The long list of presidential wannabes will hopefully be reduced to a digestible number for those who choose the Democratic Party ballot. Republicans will find their ballot much easier to navigate.

Sadly, in most local precincts you won’t find many contested primaries, and in some cases no candidate on either the Republican or Democratic ballots for county board seats, although there’s a healthy primary for State’s Attorney among county offices.   

OK, local candidates, get those yard signs out, advertising budgets in order and get out in those neighborhoods and knock on doors.

Let’s “git it on.”  

Riverfest revival

Good news last week for fans of Ottawa’s annual summer celebration, formerly known as Friendship Days, the Taste of Ottawa and accompanying music could be back for Riverfest this summer after a short hiatus.

The Times reported Commissioners Wayne Eichelkraut, Marla Rodriguez, businessman Larry Johnson and the city’s Special Events Coordinator Heidi Eisert are putting the event together including lining up bands and more food selection and no entry fee.

Now that’s putting the city’s pillow tax to good use.

If successful, would it be possible to bring back the Drum and Bugle Corps competition, too?  

Valentine's Day

Big day tomorrow.

Restaurants will be packed and reservations should be made before it’s too late.

Card and flower sales are going swimmingly according to some reports.

Valentine's Day means at least two great things besides all that love stuff.

Spring is a day closer and the big box stores are moving on to Easter.


JIM FRENCH, of Ottawa, is retired after 43 years in radio broadcasting, including 33 in Ottawa. You can reach him through The Times by emailing

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