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In your email and online every week.


"Eavesdroppers hear no good of themselves."

–German Proverb

Stealing life lessons

My friend Tommy and I stole salt shakers, ashtrays and “open” signs from an ice cream shop in our hometown when we were teenagers. We thought it was a funny prank, at least until one of the owners saw us do it and called our parents. What happened next was a very serious learning moment for both of us that changed our views on theft of any sort.

After the you-know-what chewing we received from our parents, we were forced to face the people we stole from and return the items. Mr. and Mrs. Colwell, who owned and managed the ice cream shop, lit into us, and deservingly so. These are the folks who served us ice cream after our little league games, greeted us with smiles every time they saw us, and allowed us to hang out in their shop. They could have called the police, but they didn't. That would have been too easy. Instead, they sat us down and explained how hard they worked to have a business, and how every penny mattered.

They described how those salt shakers and ash trays and open signs may not have seemed like a big deal to us, but why they were to them. And, most importantly, they wanted us to know that stealing, of any kind, was not a habit that a young person should form. They were right, and Tommy and I immediately realized this and thanked them.

When I got home, my father gave me a similar speech, but he also let me know how disappointed he was in me — and in himself. Yes, himself. He told me that he clearly did not do a good job in raising me if I felt that stealing was OK. That single comment made this teenager realize how my actions have consequences on other people. I am not sure how much Dad thought through what he said, but his comments had more impact on me than any yelling or screaming or grounding ever did.

I often wonder how those with a history of crime would have fared if Mr. and Mrs. Colwell or their parents would have had that same conversation with them. I also wonder if I, as a parent, have handled matters in the same way with my kids.

That’s a little something for us all to think about the next time we are wronged by a young person. Our comments — and how we handle the situations with them — could halt future wrongdoings and have a long-term positive effect on them.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
515-953-4822, ext. 305

Site plan approved for new Valerius Elementary 

The Urbandale City Council approved a site plan, subject to some conditions, for the new Valerius Elementary School at 3305 92nd St. Urbandale Community School District (UCSD) plans to completely redevelop the property, including demolishing the existing building and constructing a new, larger elementary school. UCSD is completing a Master Plan which includes consolidating six elementary school buildings into four buildings. The demolition construction at the Olmsted Elementary site was the initial phase, and, with that project nearing completion, UCSD is ready to move forward with the Valerius site.

Party in the Park is Aug. 27

The public is invited to Party in the Park on Friday, Aug. 27 from 6-9 p.m. at Walker Johnston Regional Park. This free family-friendly event features food trucks, a beer garden, inflatables, lawn games and live music.

Participation sought in Library Survey

The Urbandale Public Library needs the input of citizens to help establish goals and priorities for the future. Take a quick survey and let officials know your thoughts. The deadline to respond is Friday, Aug. 13. Visit www.Urbandale.org/Library to take the survey.

Joke of the week:

What does a zombie vegetarian eat?


Your Urbandale Living magazine

Mailed to residents of Urbandale the first Thursday of each month. 

This month's cover story: 

On the same page

Residents’ passion for book clubs is about more than good reads.
By Darren Tromblay
Read any good books lately?

For the approximately 5 million Americans who belong to book clubs, the answer is sure to be a resounding, “Yes!” Book clubs have been gaining in popularity as more people discover the pleasure of gathering to discuss a common book, express opinions, socialize and, usually, eat. As local residents express, book clubs are about more than sharing a good read — they are about meaningful conversation, new ideas, camaraderie, relaxation and laughs. While each book club has its own character — and group of characters — they share a simple truth: Books bring people together.


Read this month's issue
Broken nose and all: Winger continues to play rugby, despite — or because — of its intensity

By Darren Tromblay

Let’s be honest. Rugby has yet to become a common sport here in Iowa. It’s gaining ground, but there’s a ways to go. If the sport does become as common as baseball, it will be because of people like Urbandale’s Eddie Winger.

Winger became involved in the sport in high school his junior year. He joined a rugby club nine years ago. He liked bonding with his teammates. It was different on that level. And, of course, you get to hit people.

“There aren’t any pads, and it’s physical and there’s a lot more running than most sports,” he says.


Read More
Pool safety tips

By Dr. Tara Federly

With the hot, humid summer days, families are looking to their own backyards for water entertainment. Although fun, having a wading pool, above or underground pool, or hot tub comes with big responsibility.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death in children ages 1-4. It can happen in seconds to minutes and is often silent without waving, splashing or yelling. Following these safety tips can ensure a more safe and enjoyable summer in the water.


Read More
Swimmer’s itch

By Steven Harlan, MD

The Dermatology Clinic might see swimmer’s rashes come in several times in a typical summer. It can be important to get the rashes sorted out and treated with the correct treatment in order to resolve them faster and without complications.

Individuals with sensitive skin and prone to atopic eczema have to be careful not to experience a severe flare of their eczema immediately after a swimmer’s rash. Scratching a severely itchy rash on the leg can cause a secondary infection that puts people in the hospital.


Read More

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