Since his start in radio news, Trent has won awards from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, the Nebraska Associated Press, and the Iowa Broadcast News Association.
Rice also serves as the 2009-2010 President of the Iowa Broadcast News Association.
Rice is a native of Plattsmouth, Nebraska. He and his wife Solveig have been married since 2000. They live in Ames where he enjoys golf, reading, movies, music college football, and the heartbreak that comes from being a Minnesota Vikings fan. Trent and Solveig have twin daughters Annika and Kaija and a son, Erik, who shares the same birthday as his sisters, just five years later.
Allow me to speak for Mel when I extend a big thanks to everyone who came out today for the first day of our "Penny Pickup" fundraiser for Shop With A Cop. We'll see you all tomorrow at North Grand Mall. Remind me to dress better for the cold.
An interesting notion that we'll try to flesh out more on Tuesday's show. Gov. Branstad says President Obama has an "obligation" to support a greater ethanol mandate in the Renewable Fuels Standard since he campaigned on the issue in Iowa back in 2008, playing counter to Sen. John McCain's criticism of ethanol. This ethanol issue is really important to how many states? Six? Seven? Eight? Let's call it, 10, at the most. So where do the other 40 states factor in to a campaign promise Obama made five years ago before he was president?
Make no mistake--Branstad is a veteran politician poised to run for re-election in 2014. He will "hold" Obama to this promise, if for no other reason than to keep his street cred with a huge block of Iowa voters. I would expect nothing less.
Since we have a "if you don't use them, you lose them" policy when it comes to vacation days, I'm taking off Thursday and Friday. What will I do with my time? Probably immerse myself in "JFK at 50" specials on PBS, History Channel, National Geographic, et al.
One of the shows I'm hoping to catch again is this episode of PBS's Nova. Of all the shows on PBS, Nova has been getting done for decades. This show applied 21st century science, technology, and forensics to the JFK assassination. No spoilers; but I'll tell you that it answered a lot of my questions about "the second shooter," "the magic bullet," and "back and to the left."
Mel fills in for me Thursday and Friday--have a great weekend!
So, we do the two-step suffle again on whether or not to raise Iowa's gas tax to help close a $215 million year gap in road repair costs. As the Des Moines Register reported, Gov. Branstad said that he wouldn't guarantee a veto of a gas tax increase if the bill reaches his desk.
Here's why that's an easy thing to say when your next legislative session happens in the opening months of an election year:
There is no way a state representative or senator in a politically vulnerable district will sign on to a tax increase, as needed as it may be (and it is). It is the easiest campaign issue ever, and sounds a little somthing like this...
"Sen. Jim Longtorso voted to increase your taxes this year. He wants to take money out of your pocket to fund his big-dollar projects that will only benefit his buddies. Longtorso is a tax-and-spend liberal who kicks puppies and just insulted your grandma. On the other hand, Bob Slackscrease thinks YOU know how to spend your money better than the career politicians in Des Moines. Also, Bob loves puppies and would love to drive your grandma to her doctor's appointment. Vote Slackscrease in 2014."
FWIW, a gas tax increase would be easily handled by the average Iowa family. Don't believe me? Listen to our in-house economist Dave Swenson...
You should read the whole article, but here's a take-away:
"The average Iowa commuter travels 28 miles round trip to work. Multiply that trip times 310 work days and assume the auto gets 25 miles to gallon and the annual “burden” of the tax is $34.72 or a mere $2.90 a month."
$2.90 a month. That's less than a dime a day. Wow. What a burden.
Here's the Ames Tribune editorial on the growth that may headed for Ames. The piece does a good job laying out all the opportunities we have--jobs that could come with expansion of the ISU Research Park, WebFilings, Kingland Systems, etc. True that all the growth these projects could bring, if it all happens, will mean good things for our property tax base, more kids in Ames schools, and so on and so on. As I read the editorial, I thought about Friday night as my wife and I took our son to his favorite restaurant on S. Duff Ave. We waited far longer that I ever would have expected just to make a left turn. Streams of cars went by, traffic light cycle after traffic light cycle.
What will traffic be like if we add 500, 600, or 700 more people in the next five years? What kind of strain will be put on city infrastructure? While growth is good, it always, ALWAYS, comes with a cost. How much are we willing to pay, in cash, in time, and in frustration? As you ponder this issues, please know that there are people in Ames who've expressed these concerns for a long time. These are the people we've done a good job of hanging on any number of labels. What if they're accurate in their concern about growth? What if they're...right?
It's been an intense week, so I offer some levity for your Friday, I love movie trailers. Love them so much that I'll sometime go back and watch trailers for movies I've already seen. Yeah. I know. I offer these to you for this Friday. Enjoy!
Because these are the movies he seems to make these days, kind of like Mel Gibson back in in the 1990's. Here's Russell Crowe in "Noah." Yes...that Noah.
I like Ben Stiller a lot. He did a movie in 1996 called "Flirting With Disaster" that in an underrated gem. I'm intrigued with what he'll do as Walter Mitty.
Two words: Coen Brothers. I love, love, love "O Brother Where Art Thou." I'm all in on this:
And, this one is for my daughters.
As we talked about on Thursday's show the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau has put together a website promoting what could be a March 4th $19 million bond issue vote covering half of the cost of a $38 million convention space addtion at the Iowa State Center. It's a well done site with pertty pictures, and does a good job laying out the nuts and bolts of the plan. It's all well and good, but I still think supporters will have an uphill climb enticing voters to put their arms around the issue.
Also, here's that link to the National Retail Federation website on holiday shopping. A couple of numbers that should get your attention:
The NRF says 2013 holiday shopping will increase 3.9% over last year--a number ISU's Dave Swenson told us he thinks is a bit optimistic. Also, the NRF says 36% of Millennials (people aged 18-34) will go shopping on Thanksgiving Day, and that the total number of people who went shopping on Turkey Day increase to 28% last year, from 10% in 2010. I've said it once, and I'll say it again. Gross. It's just gross.