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In your email and online every week.


"Still waters run deep."



Black dirt. Top soil. Mud. Clay. Loam. Earth.

There are lots of kinds and lots of names for the ground we walk on, but for most of us, it is simply dirt. At least that’s what my father called it. He and my uncle were in what he would refer to as the “dirt business.” They owned a gravel and excavation company in Kossuth County. Digging basements. Building pads. Hauling gravel. That kind of stuff.

The dirt business never rubbed off on me. Operating heavy equipment was stressful, as the margin of error was slim and the potential for damage was huge. Having said that, I was quite effective with a shovel. My friends fondly called me Scoop. Still, I never quite understood the different degrees of dirt.

I was born and raised in a rural Iowa community, but I lived in town. Even so, the rural connections were strong as many of my classmates lived on farms, and most all of my friends worked in agriculture at some point — detasseling corn, walking beans, baling straw or picking rocks from fields.

One of my buddies talked me into joining FFA — the Future Farmers of America. The only thing I really knew about the organization was that John Cougar Mellencamp wore one of their blue corduroy jackets with the sleeves cut off in concert. Seemed cool to me. But being in FFA meant being in the classroom studying FFA stuff, like soil judging. I was clueless, as it was all just dirt to me. Our class participated in a soil judging contest. I took last place. Mr. Greiman, the FFA instructor, politely suggested that maybe FFA wasn’t for me. He was right.

I continue to struggle with dirt when I place top soil and grass seed in the bare spots in my lawn each year. The weeds grow just fine. The grass, not so much. I probably don’t water it enough, but I am blaming it on the dirt.

Maybe I am just bitter that I never had one of those FFA blue corduroy jackets. Who knows? Meanwhile, the only dirt I am digging up now can be read in the stories of our publications. You can still call me Scoop.

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

Seen around town

Jerry Porter, Scott Batcher and Kevin Schutt at the Urbandale Chamber AM Exchange hosted by Mail Services on July 27.

Deaf Awareness Month Informational Fair to be held

A drop-in Deaf Awareness Month Informational Fair will be held at the Urbandale Public Library from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9. Registration is highly encouraged.
American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will be available. This event will feature a variety of organizations that work with the deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or those who have difficulty speaking to connect to their communities. There will be representatives on hand to answer questions and explain their services. Attendees will be eligible for door prizes!
Organizations represented include: Hayes Interpreting Services, Heartland Area Education, Iowa Association for the Deaf, Iowa Baseball Camp for the Deaf, Iowa Hands & Voices, Iowa School for the Deaf, Iowa State Registry for Interpreters for the Deaf, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation, Life Interpretation, Relay Iowa, Telecommunications Access Iowa and Thrive Together Today.
For more information, visit https://www.urbandalelibrary.org/deaf-awareness-month/.

Lifesaving efforts honored

The Urbandale Mayor and City Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 24, and began by formally recognizing and thanking everyone involved in three successful CPR life-saving events. Seconds count in an emergency, and it takes a dedicated Urbandale team to answer the call. The City of Urbandale is grateful for the following people who helped save a life: Dispatcher Jesse Hilsabeck, Dispatcher Erick Gunzenhauser, Clive Police Officer Odessa Clark, Clive Police Officer Brian Kempnich, Firefighter/Paramedic Matt Linge, Firefighter/Paramedic Dominic Madonia, Firefighter/Paramedic Joe Mitchell, Firefighter/Paramedic Scott Towers, Firefighter/Paramedic Tad Watson, Firefighter/Paramedic Matt Dominguez, Firefighter/Paramedic Beth Harris, Firefighter/Paramedic Walker Grimes, Firefighter/EMT Ryan Moore, Firefighter/EMT Aldin Ramic, Engineer Eric Ennen, Engineer Drew Stiles, Engineer Dave Burns, Lt. Cory Macumber, Lt. Josh Boyle and Capt. Derek Manser.

Upcoming events

Ice Cream Social: The Urbandale Historical Society, 4010 70th St., will serve ice cream with pie or cake and water, lemonade or coffee at its ice cream social Sunday, Sept. 12, 2-4 p.m. Visit the Urban House and Barn, and enjoy visiting with friends during the afternoon.

The Arbordale hosts open house: The Arbordale, 2727 82nd Place, Urbandale, is holding an open house ice cream social on Sept. 29 from 1-3 p.m. The public is invited.

State of the City Address: Thursday, Sept. 30, 6 p.m. at Fire Station 43, 15100 Meredith Drive. The public is invited to attend Mayor Andeweg’s State of the City Address. An open house with light refreshments will be held from 5-6 p.m. The presentation will start promptly at 6 p.m. A time capsule dedication will take place at the conclusion of the event. RSVP at www.Urbandale.org/RSVP.

Mayor’s Bike Ride and Lions Pancake Feed: Meet at the Giovannetti Community Shelter at Walker Johnston Regional Park on Saturday, Oct. 2, for the Mayor’s Bike Ride. Urbandale Lions Club will be providing a pancake breakfast from 7-9 a.m. The ride starts at 9 a.m. This is a free event brought to you by the City of Urbandale. Please pre-register at: www.urbandale.org/ride-reg.

Historical program: The Roller Skating Rink in Urbandale will be presented Sunday, Oct. 10, 2 p.m. at Urban House, 4010 70th St. The Urbandale Historical Society will host this program. Come to learn more about this  popular recreational venue for young people, enjoyed during the 1950s. Bring your memories and stories to share with others during the meeting.


Joke of the week:

Why do dogs float in water?

Because they are
good buoys!!

Your Urbandale Living magazine

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

This month's cover story: 

Roll call

Back to school means a return to the classroom.

By Darren Tromblay

As hard as it may be to believe, sunscreen and swimsuits will soon be replaced by hoodies and backpacks. Fall is on the way, and, with it, a return to the classroom. Unlike 2020, this school year will begin in the classroom. Urbandale Community School District will welcome all students back into the classroom — the 100% online option will not be offered. Masks will be optional for students and staff. While concerns linger, many are hopeful that the school year will bring some stability for staff, students and families.


Read this month's issue
Impact of vision on learning

By Melissa Billings

August is National Children's Vision and Learning Month, and our goal is to help educate parents and teachers about the critical impact children's vision has on learning. Experts say that roughly 80% of what a child learns in school is visual. However, more than 50% of students who pass a “vision screening” at school have significant vision problems, which is why annual comprehensive vision examinations for children is so important. Many students who are struggling in school may have vision problems, such as eye tracking and coordination, that are not detected during a typical school vision screening. 


Read More
Lifelong learning

By Susie Ray

There are several things about the month of August that I am confident about. August is the last official month for summer. The weather in Iowa will have hot temperatures and high humidity, all month long. Most families will be scrambling to complete the things on their summer list. Lastly, school will resume toward the end of August.

As school gets underway, you should consider making a commitment to lifelong learning. Lifelong learning is a way aging adults keep being challenged, investigate new possibilities, and stay engaged with the dynamic world we live in. 


Read More

P.S. As a free newsletter, we rely on readers like you to grow our subscriber list. If you have a friend or coworker that you think would enjoy weekly highlights of the Urbandale Living Weekly, please share our newsletter sign up page with them! Go to www.iowalivingmagazines.com and select email blast sign up at the top right.

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