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Monday, Aug. 8, 2022
Good Monday Morning to You!

Try to describe the use of a burn barrel to city kids today, and you are likely going to get some strange looks — and maybe even a citation. For many of us, burning “stuff” in barrels was a common practice. These 55-gallon drums were regularly seen in the backyards and alleyways in many Iowa towns and cities. In some places, they still are.

Burn barrels were part of an “incineration” practice in America, and Iowans used these barrels as a way to dispose of garbage.

My childhood neighbors, Harry and Babe, had a several-acre lot that our neighborhood grew around. Their home still had that “rural” feel, despite being in the midst of our small town. Past the windmill and the garden and the neatly mowed yard, there was a burn barrel sitting on a few cinder blocks. Each night, they would take paper bags of their trash out and light a fire, and we joined them, too. It was a common sight and a common smell. If an aerosol can happened to be tucked away in the sack of garbage that was burning, it was a common sound, too.

Nobody seemed to care much about what was stored in those barrels prior to using them to burn things. And nobody seemed to care much about what was being burned in them either. At the time, the whole process just seemed better than throwing garbage in a can that would fill up the dump. (The term landfill wasn’t popular yet.)

You have to admire the ingenuity of those who were “repurposing” these barrels. The drum shape and overall design helped control the spread of embers and ashes in a relatively closed environment, even on a windy day. And the sturdiness of the barrels allowed them to sustain intense heat for quite some time. Where they finally went after being burnt through, one can only imagine. Hopefully, they did not end up in a river.

The thick smoke and fumes certainly weren’t good for the environment. In fact, the EPA reports that one burn barrel can produce as much pollution as a municipal-level waste combustor destroying 200 tons a day. Smokers, children, the elderly and pregnant women were also found to face reproductive, developmental and immune-deficiency problems from long-term exposure to these burn barrel fumes.

So, as a result of these and other problems, burn barrels are banned in many areas today. Instead of the 55-gallon drums, we now — where it is legal — sit around fire pits while roasting marshmallows and hot dogs over the flames. Some of the problems may still exist, but if Harry and Babe were still alive, I think they would approve.

Have a marvelous Monday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305


Iowa Cubs Aug. 7: Toledo 10 Cubs 6

MLB Aug. 7: Blue jays 3 Twins 2, Royals 13 Red Sox 5, Marlins 3 Cubs 0, Cardinals 12 Yankees 9, Reds 4 Brewers 2, White Sox 8 Rangers 2  ... READ MORE


Your Clear Mortgage forecast from Jason Parkin

Morning rain chances will move out leaving us with a dry remainder of the day. We'll start the week with highs in the 80s today and Tuesday, then we'll return to the 90s in time for the Iowa State Fair.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Jason at parkin.mortgage

From the Food Dude

Vietnam Cafe in Merle Hay Mall will reopen today. Owner Brenda Tran says she simply needed a break.. — Jim Duncan

Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact pat@dmcityview.com for details.
3022 Fox Run
Des Moines, IA 50321
Endless charm and fabulous light, this townhouse is absolutely beautiful. The vaulted great room has maple hardwood floors, custom designed book cases, and gas fireplace. The kitchen /hearth room, invitingly designed for entertaining, continues with the maple floors, and also has white cabinetry, newer stainless-steel appliances and granite counters. The kitchen opens to a beautiful triple sized deck perfect for parties. The first-floor library with custom-built in desk and book shelves can function also as an extra bedroom...
See More Homes For Sale
Section Title
"4 p.m.  Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. Sign might need to be calibrated (our car said 102°). But what does it matter? It WAS HOT HOT H O T. Watch your children, pets, the elderly and yourself. And stay hydrated." Photo by Brent Hess

FROM KCCI: ARL: Loose peacock in Des Moines has been located

DES MOINES, Iowa — The peacock that has been spotted across Des Moines has finally been captured, according to the Animal Rescue League. Our feathery friend, who goes by the name Jimmy, was first seen on Wednesday in a tree. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Thousands left without power after storm in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa — Thousands of MidAmerican Energy customers in Des Moines were left without power after a storm rolled through on Sunday night. The storm hit the metro around 6 p.m. with reports of strong winds. Though the metro needed the rain, the wind speeds resulted in lots of broken trees and downed power lines. ...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: BA.4.6: How a new coronavirus subvariant affects Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa — New coronavirus variants continue to pop up every week, but one of the newest is specifically making its mark across the Midwest. That growing strain is BA.4.6, a subvariant of omicron. The CDC is projecting the variant to grow primarily in four states across the Midwest — Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Best Of Des Moines 2022

CITYVIEW announced its 2022 Best Of Des Moines readers' choices Feb.1. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best Local Hangover Food
1. Mullets
2. B-Bop’s
3. Early Bird


Hidden gem

McBurneys hold neighborhood and community close to heart

By Lindsey Giardino

Husband and wife Larry and Luisita Dona McBurney’s, goal when looking for a home to purchase was that it would be a place they could call theirs forever — especially one large enough to accommodate friends and family from out of town.

“As soon as we saw our current home listed on the market, we knew we had to see it as soon as possible,” Luisita Dona McBurney says. “It was love at first sight.”
The home sits in a quiet neighborhood with a forested area between it and the neighbor’s backyard.

“To cap it all off, there were two deer foraging in the backyard during our viewing, almost as if it was a sign we were home,” McBurney says. “We put in an offer immediately, and it was accepted on Valentine’s Day.”

... Read More From the July issue of Urbandale Living magazine.

Birthdays and Notables!

Happy Birthday to these celebrities: Roger Federer, Dustin Hoffman, Princess Beatrice, Meagan Good, Laura Slade Wiggins, Cameron Payne, Keith Carradine, Connie Stevens, The Edge, Countess Vaughn, Scott Stapp

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to:tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning Chuckle
The answer to yesterday's riddle:
Q: What did the hippo get when he started working out every day?
HIPPOPOTAMUSCLES! Gail Tomlinson or HIPPO HIPS! William Snyder


Q: How do you raise a baby hippopotamus?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com 

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