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ArtSplash returns

A popular local Labor Day weekend draw for more than a quarter century, ArtSplash continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at Riverside Park.

This year, some 80 artists from across the country will participate.

If ArtSplash is, for you, a familiar way of observing the traditional end to summer, enjoy the artwork, food, music and activities for children again. If you haven't attended ArtSplash before, we encourage you to give this annual highlight of our community calendar a try.

We applaud the organizers and volunteers who put the time and energy into producing one of Sioux City's signature events.

A first

The Rev. Lorna H. Halaas of Sioux City was installed as the first female bishop of the Evangelical Church in America's Western Iowa Synod in an Aug. 17 ceremony at First Lutheran Church.

The 62-year-old Halaas was elected to the six-year term in May; she succeeds the Rev. Rodger Prois.

The ELCA is the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States, with some 3.5 million members in 9,300 congregations. Those congregations are organized within synods; each of the 65 synods is served by a bishop.

ELCA's Western Iowa Synod includes 125 congregations in western Iowa.

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Poor timing

If there’s a reason why Sioux City officials waited until the first day of school to redo sidewalks, we’d like to know what it is.

Considering many students walk to school, isn’t it more efficient to get that done earlier in the summer so parents don’t have to worry about them veering into streets just to get back on a sidewalk?

Even if it was a cost-saving measure, some common sense would have suggested the cents-saving wasn’t worth it.

U.S.-China trade war escalates

On Aug. 23, President Trump said he will increase tariffs scheduled for Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 on $300 billion in Chinese goods from 10 percent to 15 percent.

This, in retaliation for China's announcement earlier in the day of new tariffs ranging from 5 to 10 percent on an additional $75 billion in U.S. imports.

These developments represent troubling news in states like Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota where agriculture bears a heavy burden for a U.S.-China trade war showing no signs of getting better anytime soon.

A $1 trillion budget deficit

The federal budget deficit is expected to increase to more than $1 trillion next year, the Congressional Budget Office projected on Aug. 21.

Let us repeat that number: $1 trillion. For one fiscal year. At a time when federal debt exceeds $22 trillion.

What will it take for our elected leaders (neither side of the political aisle gets a pass), who appear largely unconcerned about what is fiscal insanity, to embrace the fact a future of more deficits and more debt isn't sustainable and begin to confront the challenge?

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