Special Feature! “Best Thing, Worst Thing”

On this newest “Best Thing, Worst Thing” episode, you’ll experience more parts of Des Moines in an hour than most people do in a lifetime! Plus, you don’t have to go anywhere–you’ll listen to me do all the walking. I was surprised by what some people said (or didn’t say) about their home, and learned about how having big ideas in a small city can be a double-edged sword. (I was also surprised to end my night on the top of a parking garage, but you’ll have to listen to find out why.)

For an explanation of the project, check out the page here. If you’re ready to take a behind-the-scenes, after-hours peek at Iowa’s main metropolis, click over to the City Council Chronicles podcast to download the latest episode. Or you can play it below.

Episode 8: Des Moines, Iowa

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Photo source: City of Des Moines

Des Moines–population 210,000–is the capital of Iowa. We hear from several residents about how Des Moines is on fire culturally. First, we visit a free art museum and then talk to a worldly t-shirt mogul with a Trump connection. Afterward, we go behind the scenes at the state capitol. We head into the afternoon with the grand opening of a community center, and end up in a dive bar by nightfall. Plus, you’ll see which attraction in Des Moines completely fascinated me!

Special Feature! “Best Thing, Worst Thing”

This episode of the “Best Thing, Worst Thing” project has it all: drama. Suspense. My wife’s grandmother. Not only do we visit this far southern city, but we walk down an empty Main Street, ride into the mountains, and catch ourselves running through the desert in a panic.

For an explanation of the project, check out the page here. If you’re ready to hear a group of folks talk about the best and worst things about where they live–and what adventures I got into along the way–head over to the City Council Chronicles podcast to download the latest episode. Or you can play it below.

Episode 7: Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Las Cruces is just one hour north of El Paso and the Mexican border in the hot desert of Doña Ana County, New Mexico. The population is 57 percent Latino. In this episode, we will watch a dust storm roll through the city, go on a nature hike in the Organ Mountains, and even get caught up in a medical emergency. We hear from a city councilor, a union president, a Belgian sailor, a classroom of college students, and my grandmother-in-law (who, by the way, makes a special request at the end of the episode).

Special Feature! “Best Thing, Worst Thing”

This is an exciting new episode of the “Best Thing, Worst Thing” project. Usually, I storm into town, do some interviews, hear about the history, and package it together into a neat bundle for you. This time, we tag along with a few locals as they go about their day and get a more colorful listening experience.

For an explanation of the project, check out the page here. If you’re ready to hear a group of folks talk about the best thing about where they live and the worst thing about where they live, head over to the City Council Chronicles podcast to download the latest episode. Or you can play it below.

Episode 6: Colby, Kansas

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Photo source: Google Street View

Colby is technically a city of 5,400 people in the northwest corner of Kansas–but it’s tempting to call this a “small town.” Agriculture is important here, but Colby also has a community college and medical center. In this episode, we tag along to a Rotary Club meeting, participate in a tornado drill, and try not to get blown away by some fierce wind. We hear from a librarian, a hospital executive, a newspaper publisher, a principal, a tax preparer, and a retired city employee.

Special Feature! “Best Thing, Worst Thing”

There is a lot of news to keep up with these days and it would be nice if someone explained what’s really important. Well, you’re in luck: there is a new episode of the “Best Thing, Worst Thing” project! For an explanation, check out the page here. Basically, you will be transported to a city or town where you (probably) have never been. You will hear from the locals about the things they like and the things they cannot stand.

So pack up your skis and put some hot chocolate in a thermos. Then head over to the City Council Chronicles podcast to download the latest episode. Or you can play it below.

Episode 5: Vail, Colorado

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Photo source: Town of Vail

Vail is about 100 miles west of Denver in Eagle County, Colorado. Most people know Vail as home to the most popular ski resort in the country. But there is actually a town of 5,300 people who work at, ski on, or vacation near the resort. The town is fairly new–only 51 years old. It is a fantastic place for people who love the outdoors. But it is fairly remote in the Rocky Mountains. And it is increasingly adversarial for people who work there to also live nearby.  In this episode, we hear from a journalist, an events manager, a school board member, a house cleaner, and a rabbi.

Special Feature! “Best Thing, Worst Thing”

It’s a tumultuous time, so it is important to get involved locally. We at the Chronicles are doing our part with the “Best Thing, Worst Thing” project! For an explanation, check out the page here. If you like storytelling and municipal lore, I think you will enjoy hearing residents wrestle with the good and challenging parts of their city at the same time.

So get comfortable, imagine you’ve been teleported to the Midwest, and head over to the City Council Chronicles podcast to download the latest episode. Or you can play it below.

Episode 4: Raymore, Missouri

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Photo source: City of Raymore

Raymore is 25 miles south of Kansas City in Cass County, Missouri. The population is 20,000. It is largely a bedroom community for people working in the big city or in nearby Kansas. For a long time, Raymore was stagnant–hovering around 500 residents. But starting in the ’70s, the city grew up fast. It is largely white with a higher-than-average median income, and along the main highway are numerous retail and big box stores. Raymore also has had some interesting political twists and turns. In this episode, we hear from a librarian, a marketing analyst, a doctor, and a husband-and-wife pair that runs a newspaper.

Special Feature! “Best Thing, Worst Thing”

It’s a new year, so we have a new installment of the “Best Thing, Worst Thing” project. Wow, another episode AND Betty White is still alive?! This year isn’t so bad after all! For an explanation of the project, check out the page here. If you like storytelling and municipal lore, consider this your birthday present.

If you’ve got the kids in bed and the bottle of gin opened, head over to the City Council Chronicles podcast and download the latest episode. Or you can play it below.

Episode 3: Rockville, Maryland

 

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Photo source: City of Raymore

Rockville is 16 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. in Montgomery County, Maryland. The population is 64,000. It is the oldest community in this series–first settled around 1750. As the federal government expanded for each world war, the population of Rockville also grew because those workers wanted to live in a closeby suburb. The city is fairly ethnically diverse, with a large number of foreign-born residents. Rockville Town Square is a downtown commercial and retail hub–with an ice skating rink! In this episode, we hear from a political staffer, a scientist, an economic development specialist, and a college student.

Special Feature! “Best Thing, Worst Thing”

What’s this? Another installment of the semi-regular “Best Thing, Worst Thing” podcast series? Why, I do believe it is! For an explanation of the project, check out the page here. If you like storytelling and municipal lore, I think you’ll enjoy what the cat dragged in.

If you’ve got the kids already gathered around the fireplace, head over to the City Council Chronicles podcast and download the latest episode. Or you can play it below.

Episode 2: Cheyenne, Wyoming

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Photo source: Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce

Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming, population 63,000. It is located in the southeast corner of the state just eight miles from the Colorado border. It exists thanks to the builders of the Transcontinental Railroad. Downtown is fairly compact, with the capitol building at the north end and the historic train station at the south. Government buildings are prevalent and some of the historic homes are quite nice. Although it is the largest city in Wyoming, the population has risen slowly and steadily. In this episode, we hear from a business owner, a firearms instructor, two Chamber of Commerce employees, and a former mayoral candidate.