Welcome to the first in a semi-regular feature we’re going to call The Reporter’s Notebook. This is basically the extra stuff from a recent article that we just couldn’t fit in the print edition. We’re used to writing short and tight, so this won’t happen every week. But we’ll post some notes when we’ve got extra stuff.

[image-1] Democrat Linda Ketner decided to run for Congress when her patience ran out. Iraq, schools, the economy, and a host of other issues mounted, and she wondered if she was the only one sick and tired of being sick and tired. So she went out in the district to find out, shaking hands at diners and grocery stores.

“What I discovered is that everybody is feeling it,” she says. “They’re frightened, desperate, angry. They want help. They want someone who’s going to work for them.” …

As a young girl, Ketner has a passion for government that started with a letter to President Eisenhower asking why girls and blacks couldn’t play Little League. After he replied with a form letter, “I said, ‘Well I’m going to become governor and that’s the first thing I’ll do. I’ll make Little League available to girls and black people.'”

Universities educating principles should also have standard curriculum to ensure these future leaders are given the tools they need, she says.

“They’re running a small business, after all,” Ketner says.

While development disputes have largely been on a local level, Ketner says more federal and state coordination is necessary for smart growth, including incentives for developers to play along with guidelines instead of prohibitive restrictions that lead neighboring municipalities to bicker and barter for annexations.

“The carrots always work better than the sticks,” she says.

She also doesn’t go as far as other Democrats, like Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, who call for mandatory universal health care. Instead, Ketner says other options need to be exhausted first, including trimming back administrative costs.