The Exchange, March 14, 2018, ACLU Lawsuit, Steel Tariffs and Dimmit Fellow Mohana Rajakumar

Mar 14, 2018

Sibley, Iowa

The Exchange, 031418

Coming up this week on The Exchange, the town of Sibley takes action to stop negative comments and is sued by the ACLU of Iowa over First Amendment concerns.

an Iowa steel business responds to President Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum,

And we talk with an  unlikely candidate for Governor in Nebraska

and we talk with the current Dimmit Fellow at Morningside College.

That and more on the Exchange, Wednesday at noon on Siouxland Public Media.

Welcome to The Exchange, on Siouxland Public Media.  I’m Mary Hartnett.   The Northwest Iowa town of Sibley is threatening to sue one of its residents if he fails to take down a website that is at times critical of the city.   Josh Harms website  called “Should you live in Sibley?” says the city failed to adequately deal with persistent odors from a processing plant that he says smelled like “rancid dog food.” In response, the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa has filed suit against the city of Sibley, seeking to block it from making legal threats or “taking other action to remove or alter” the content of the website. Needless to say, this controversy has raised a stink in the small city of Sibley.  I talked with Veronica Fowler, communications director of the ACLU of Iowa, about its suit against the city and the city’s demand that Harms take down the site.


In: “Well, we feel this is pretty clearly unconstitutional . . .”

Out: “. . . who are speaking out about it.”

From the "Should you move to Sibley, Iowa?" website

That was Veronica Fowler, the communications director for the ACLU of Iowa. The ACLU is suing the city of Sibley saying it is violating the first amendment, for demanding that Josh Harms take down or alter his website.  That website had been critical of the city its efforts to stop the odors coming from Iowa Drying and Pressing, which produces animal feed.  At this point, Harms admits on his website, That the odor is for the most part no longer a problem.  But the site remains up.  An attorney for the city told the Des Moines Register the problem has been alleviated. And the final strand of the story is the animal feed plant is now suing the city of Sibley for what it calls a vague and arbitrarily enforced odor ordinance.

Last week, President Donald Trump made an expected announcement that he was raising a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports.  Trump said it was an effort to stop the dumping of cheap metal in the United States and protect jobs. However, some that work in the steel business disagree.  Dave Bernstein is the co-owner of Sioux City Compressed Steel.   Bernstein says steel manufactures may be helped by the tariffs, but manufacturers that use steel will be hurt.Steel

Dave Bernstein is the co-owner of Sioux City Compressed Steel, talking about President Donald Trump’s imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum last week.   

Krystal Gabel is running for Governor in Nebraska . . . on the Republican ticket.  The Akron, Iowa native is challenging the well-connected first-term Republican Governor Pete Ricketts.  Gable is running on a platform of economic reform that relies heavily on the legalization of medical marijuana and hemp in Nebraska.  Both of those proposals have been shot down by Nebraska lawmakers several times. But the freelance writer and editor says it’s says its time for someone to present voters with a different view of government that gives Nebraskans more say in what goes on at unicameral. Gabel says since living in Elkorn,  she has found that the politics of Nebraska are much different than the politics of Iowa.

Nebraska Gubernatorial Candidate Krystal Gabel

Gable 8:16

In: “It’s just really run by money . . .”

Out: “The other way around. . . .”

That was Krystal Gabel, who is running for governor in Nebraska on the Republican ticket.  She will face off with incumbent Republican Governor Pete Rickets in the May 15th state primary.

Spring Morningside College Dimmit Fellow Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

Next, we hear from Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar.  She has the past decade living, teaching, and conducting research about gender, race and writing in the Middle East.  She is the spring Dimmit Fellow at Morningside College.  She will be leading a variety of class discussions and community events in Sioux City through Saturday, March 24th.    She’s joined live in our studio by our arts producer Ally Karsyn.