Events coming up during the next two weeks

The days are getting warmer and longer, early wildflowers are starting to come up, and two of my favorite spring events in Iowa are happening the next two weekends. The Planned Parenthood spring book sale starts this Thursday and continues through Monday at the State Fairgrounds (4H building). This semi-annual sale supports the education and community outreach programs of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, covering most of Iowa and part of Nebraska. Come Thursday night or Friday for the best selection, Sunday or Monday for the lowest prices.

The sixth annual Natural Living Expo will be held April 2 and 3 at the Polk County Convention Complex in Des Moines. This free event showcases more than 100 natural and/or environmentally friendly Iowa businesses and community organizations. I’ll be helping staff the tables for a couple of non-profits, but I always look forward to browsing during my break times.

Like many in the Bleeding Heartland community, I’m excited to see the new map of Iowa political boundaries, which the Legislative Services Agency will release on March 31. The LSA will hold public meetings around the state on April 4 to discuss the proposed map.

Details on those events and much more are after the jump. As always, please post a comment or send me an e-mail if you know of an event that should be added to this calendar.

Tuesday, March 22

Organizing for America has scheduled events around the country to mark the anniversary of Congress passing health insurance reform one year ago. There will be an Affordable Care Act anniversary event at 2 pm March 22 at Simply for Giggles, 510 East Locust #120 in Des Moines.

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s calendar:

“Tapped” film screening

Location: Des Moines Downtown Public Library, 1000 Grand Avenue

To mark World Water Day, the Iowa United Nations Association will be showing the award-winning documentary “Tapped.” Learn why purchasing water bottles have critical far-reaching consequences and how you can take action in your Des Moines neighborhoods through the UNICEF Tap Project.

From Ed Fallon’s calendar of events:

March 22 – Debunking Myths on Immigration (Ames)

Learn the common myths about undocumented youth and the reality of current immigration policy. Geoffrey Fischer with the Iowa Immigration Education Coalition leads the conversation at the Memorial Union, Rm 3558, 3:00-4:00 pm. Contact kaya.dasha AT gmail.com.

March 22 – Helen’s Pajama Party (Des Moines)

Annual pajama party to sort, tag and pack pajamas for Iowa’s domestic violence shelters. From 6:30-9:30 pm at Hotel Fort Des Moines, 10th & Walnut. Cost is $8 for adults, $4 for 6-18 year-olds, and free for children under 5. Pizza, music and drawings for gifts. Attendees get to put their name in for the drawings once for each pair of new pajamas they donate. Contact Kelly Sargent at kelly AT helenspajamaparty.org.

March 22 – Stop Corporate Ag Lobby Day (Des Moines)

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is organizing this day-long citizen lobbying event to help stop bills that could rollback twelve years of regulations and give factory farms guaranteed loans from taxpayer funds. Meet at the State Capitol at 10:00 am. Contact Matt Denner at (515) 255-0800 or matt AT iowacci.org.

Wednesday, March 23

The DNR is holding public meetings to comment on water quality standards for some Iowa lakes. Meetings are scheduled for March 23 at 10 am in the Falcon Civic Center, 1305 Fifth Avenue NE in Independence, and at 4 pm in the Washington Public Library, State Bank Room, 115 West Washington St in Washington. Background:

PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT ON WATER QUALITY STANDARDS FOR LAKES USED FOR SWIMMING

A series of public meetings to gather input from citizens regarding proposed criteria for evaluating Iowa lakes used for swimming will be held throughout the state during the month of March. […] The proposed standards measure the transparency of the water and recommend maintaining water clarity of a little more than 3 feet (1 meter) in at least 75 percent of the measurements. A standard of maintaining Chlorophyll-a levels not to exceed 25 micrograms per liter in 75 percent of the measurements taken is also being proposed. Both standards are based on measurements taken during the summer recreational months between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

The standards will apply to 127 lakes in Iowa that have a maintained beach, appear on the list of Significant Public Owned Lakes or have a mean depth of more than 3 meters (9.9 feet). A listing of the lakes and additional information can be found at:

http://www.iowadnr.gov/water/s…

Water clarity is a safety issue on lakes where swimming is promoted as a recreational activity. Poor water quality and lack of clarity can result in not being able to spot a person having a problem in the water and at risk of drowning, said Chuck Corell, chief of the Water Quality Bureau for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“But we have a number of studies that also show water clarity in lakes is very much an economic factor as well,” Corell said.

“In addition, we have seen research from other states that transparency of less than one meter reduces lakefront property value by as much as 22 percent. We also have data from the 2006 Iowa State University study that shows Iowans prefer lakes with cleaner water and those areas with better water quality often enjoy greater economic activity and higher shoreline

property values,” said Corell.

The proposed standards were developed based on recommendations written by a Nutrient Standards Advisory committee chaired by Michael Burkart, an associate professor at Iowa State University. […]

Any person may submit written suggestions or comments on the proposed amendments through May 15, 2011. Such written material should be submitted to Chuck Corell, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wallace State Office Building, 502 East Ninth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034, fax (515)281-8895 or by e-mail to chuck.corell@dnr.iowa.gov

Thursday, March 24

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative Leonard Boswell are headlining the Polk County Democrats’ spring event, a “dessert and coffee social” from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at UAW Local #450, 4589 NW 6th Dr in Des Moines. Tickets are $25. For more info, contact Tamyra at 515-285-1800 or e-mail polkdems AT gmail.com.

Before that event, Pelosi will headline a fundraiser for Boswell’s campaign committee from 5 to 6:30 pm at the home of Roxanne Conlin in Des Moines. RSVP to Grant Woodard: grant.woodard AT boswellforcongress.com or (515) 883-2254.

The DNR is holding a public meeting at 10 am in the Clear Lake Public Library, 200 N Fourth St, to discuss water quality standards in lakes used for swimming.

The Planned Parenthood of the Heartland spring book sale opens in the 4H building at the State Fairgrounds. Admission costs $10 on opening day (4 pm to 10 pm) but is free on all other days. Click here for more information.

From Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy:

Des Moines – Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy coalition members are announcing a statewide series of public forums to highlight the results of last November’s 63% vote in favor of creating Iowa’s “Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund” and the need for continued funding for water quality, agricultural soil conservation, and outdoor recreation programs.

The FY 2012 budgets for natural resources & agricultural programs in Iowa represents less than 1% of the state budget.  Funding for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Department of Agriculture are at historically record lows.

Representatives from Iowa’s Water & Land Legacy coalition including members from Pheasants Forever, the Iowa Association of County Conservation Boards, Iowa’s REAP Alliance, and others will be on hand to take questions and guide discussion about “what’s next” for Iowa’s Water & Land Legacy.

Location:

Details Below: Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Newton, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Storm Lake, Sioux City, Muscatine, Burlington

Confirmed Speakers:

Mark Langgin – Director, Iowa’s Water & Land Legacy

Roz Lehman – Director, Iowa Rivers Revival

Key points:

·         Iowa has impaired water in all 99 counties.

·         Iowa is losing 5 tons of topsoil per acre per year

·         Coalition groups have some 300,000 Iowans as members.

Question #1 on the November 2010 ballot was the Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy constitutional amendment which created a dedicated trust fund for the purposes of protecting and enhancing water quality and natural areas throughout the state including parks, trails, and fish and wildlife habitat and conserving Iowa agricultural soils.

Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy supporters consist of a bipartisan, broad-based coalition representing sportsmen, conservationists, business leaders, farmers, recreation groups and first responders.

“This November Iowans voted to clean up our water, conserve our soil, restore wetlands to help protect against future flooding and make history by voting Yes on Question #1,” said Mark Ackelson, President of Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy co-chair.  “We can all get behind these priorities, yet the legislature is cutting these programs even further after this historic vote.  We must preserve and protect our natural resources so we can pass on our traditions and quality of life to future generations of Iowans.  This includes improving water quality, conserving our soil, and providing quality fish & wildlife habitat.”

Locations/Details

Thursday, March 24th

           9 am – 10 am  —           Des Moines Izaak Walton League Education Center

                                                                       4343 George Pflagg Pkwy, Des Moines, IA

           1 pm – 2 pm  —                        Council Bluffs Public Library

                                                                       2nd Floor Conference Room “C”

                                                                       400 Willow Avenue, Council Bluffs, IA

From Ed Fallon’s calendar of events:

March 24 – “Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth” (Ames)

“Papers” is the story of undocumented youth in the US and the challenges they face when they turn eighteen years old without legal status. In the Memorial Union, Sun Rm, 7:00 pm. Contact kaya.dasha AT gmail.com.

Friday, March 25

The Iowa Renewable Energy Association is holding its monthly Iowa Renewable Energy Training Center (IRETC) Open House at the Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center in Hiawatha (Cedar Rapids area).

The DNR has another public meeting scheduled to discuss water quality standards in lakes used for swimming. This one takes place at 1 pm in the Wallace State Office Building, Fifth Floor Conference Rooms, 502 East Ninth St. in Des Moines.

Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy is holding more public forums to advocate for funding Iowa’s water quality, agricultural soil conservation, and outdoor recreation programs. Today’s events:

Friday, March 25th

           9 am – 10 am  —           Newton Public LIbrary

                                                                       100 N. 3rd Avenue West, Newton, IA

           12 pm – 1 pm  —          Iowa City Recreation Division, Robert A Lee Center

                                                                       220 S. Gilbert Street, Iowa City, IA

           3 pm – 4 pm  —                        Cedar Rapids Library, Westdale Mall (Lower Level, Seuss Room)

                                                                       2600 Edgewood Road, Cedar Rapids, IA

The Planned Parenthood book sale continues at the Fairgrounds (4H building), 9 am to 9 pm. Beginning Friday morning, admission is free for this event. There are hundreds of thousands of books for sale, as well as music, puzzles and posters.

From Creating Great Places:

Henry Wallace & Garst-Khrushchev theatre productions

“American Dreamer” & “Peace Through Corn”.

Friday March 25, 2011

The State Historical Museum will present “American Dreamer: The Life and Times of Henry A. Wallace” at 7 p.m. and “Peace Through Corn” at 8 p.m. March 25, 2011, in the State Historical Building’s Cowles-Kruidenier Auditorium, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. Contact Maureen Korte at maureen.korte AT iowa.gov or 515-281-4132 for more information.

The full schedule follows:

6:00 p.m. – Tickets, $10 per person (includes both shows), on sale at the door or in advance by contacting Maureen Korte at maureen.korte AT iowa.gov or 515-281-4132

7:00 p.m. – American Dreamer: The Life and Times of Henry A. Wallace

7:45 p.m. – Intermission

8:00 p.m. – Peace Through Corn

8:45 p.m. – Peace Through Corn Q & A with Liz and Rachel Garst (granddaughters of Roswell Garst)

AMERICAN DREAMER ”

American Dreamer” is a one-act play based on the award-winning book of the same name by Senator John C. Culver and John Hyde.

Actor Tom Milligan portrays Henry A. Wallace, the agricultural innovator and founder of Pioneer Hi-Bred seed corn company who became U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and, later, Vice President under Franklin Roosevelt.

Admired by many and later branded as a Socialist during his controversial 1948 campaign for the presidency, Wallace always held out a vision for the future.

PEACE THROUGH CORN

“Peace through Corn” brings alive the unprecedented personal friendship between Iowa farmer Roswell Garst and Soviet Union Premier Nikita Khrushchev. This two-man, one-hour performance is based in part on actual dialogue as reflected in the two men’s letters, memoirs and speeches.  […]

The play was written by Iowa playwright Cynthia Mercati and produced by Robert John Ford. The part of Khrushchev is played by actor John Earl Robinson and that of Garst, by Michael Cornelison.  The original song “Peace through Corn” was written by singer-songwriter Chad Elliot of Coon Rapids.

Saturday, March 26

The Planned Parenthood book sale continues at the Fairgrounds (4H building), 9 am to 9 pm.

At 8:30 pm on Saturday 26th March 2011, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions that go beyond the hour.

From Ed Fallon’s calendar of events:

March 26 – Creating Communities, Fighting Sprawl (Des Moines)

Forum at the Central Public Library, 1000 Grand Ave, 9:15-12:00 noon. Sponsored by Iowa Partners in Learning as part of its “Our Civic Engagement at the Library” series. Open to the first 25 respondents. RSVP to Laura Walth at (515) 283-4957 or lawalth AT dmpl.org.

Sunday, March 27

The Planned Parenthood book sale continues at the Fairgrounds (4H building), 9 am to 6 pm. In the past all merchandise has been marked down 50 percent on Sunday at the book sale. I have seen people lining up before 9 am, ready to sprint to the section with rare and collectible items.

Monday, March 28

It’s the final day of the Planned Parenthood book sale, open 9 am to 6 pm. Usually all merchandise is 75 percent off on Monday.

Tuesday, March 29

The DNR has two more public meetings scheduled to discuss water quality standards in lakes used for swimming. One is set for 10 am at the Rock Island Depot, 102 Chestnut St. in Atlantic. The other will take place at 6 pm in the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, Waitt Building, 1838 Highway 86 in Milford.

Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy is holding more public forums to advocate for funding Iowa’s water quality, agricultural soil conservation, and outdoor recreation programs. Today’s events:

10 am – 11 am  —         Storm Lake Public Library

                                                                       609 Cayuga Street, Council Bluffs, IA

           1 pm – 2 pm  —                        Morningside Library

                                                                       4005 Morningside Avenue, Sioux City, IA

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s calendar:

Cool Congregations Coffee

Location: Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1410 West Boston Avenue, Indianola, IA

Join us for coffee, conversation, and a tour of Redeemer Lutheran! Come join the conversation about what faith communities in Iowa are doing to care for the earth, and see first-hand what one congregation has done – cutting lighting costs by 70% in the church, heating costs by 25% in the parsonage, and more! This is a free event.

7:00 PM: Share Your Success Stories

Has your congregation taken steps to care for the earth? Have you taken steps at home? Bring your success stories and hear from others.

7:30 PM: Tour of Redeemer Lutheran

See their energy saving renovations.

To Register, contact Sarah Webb at coolcongregations AT iowaipl.org or go to http://www.iowaipl.org/cc_cale…

Wednesday, March 30

Family, colleagues and friends of Rich Pirog are holding an open house and farewell reception on the occasion of his departure from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Iowa State University. The event will run from 2:00 – 3:30 pm with a program at 2:45 pm. Location: Hunziker House of Iowa State University’s Reiman Gardens. There will be plenty of free parking and free access to and use of the gardens, the butterflies and its gift shop.  Click here for driving directions / parking information. The departure of Pirog and the Leopold Center’s interim director prompted an ISU professor of agronomy to write to the university president recently about his concern for the center’s future.

Thursday, March 31

The Legislative Services Agency will release the first proposed new map of political boundaries at 8:15 am at the state capitol.

The map will divide the state into four Congressional districts, 100 Iowa House districts and 50 Iowa Senate districts.

The last DNR public meeting on water quality standards for Iowa lakes is scheduled for 4 pm at the Chariton Public Library, 803 Braden Avenue in Chariton.

Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy is holding more public forums to advocate for funding Iowa’s water quality, agricultural soil conservation, and outdoor recreation programs. Today’s events:

           10 am – 11 am —          Muscatine, IA (Location TBA)

           12 pm – 1 pm —           Burlington Chamber of Commerce

                                                610 N. 4th Street, Suite 200, Burlington, IA

The Des Moines Green Drinks group meets at the Gateway Market, 2002 Woodland Ave, from 5:30-7:30 pm. Contact Shari at DesMoinesGreenDrinks AT gmail.com.

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s calendar:

MRAPS Public Draft Scoping Report Meeting

Location: 300 3rd Street, Sioux City

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold a public meeting to collect feedback on the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study Draft Scoping Summary Report. The Corps received comments on the scope of MRAPS last year. Those comments have been addressed in the draft report. Congress directed the Corps to study the Missouri River projects and review the original purposes in the 1944 Flood Control Act to determine if changes are warranted. The eight original purposes are flood control, hydropower, water supply, irrigation, navigation, recreation, water quality, and fish and wildlife. The public meeting will run from 5 to 7 p.m. with a Corps presentation from 5 to 6 p.m. The second hour will be a public speaker feedback period on the Draft Scoping Summary Report. Go to http://www.mraps.org/ for more information.

Saturday, April 2

More than 100 eco-friendly businesses and community organizations will be exhibiting at the 6th annual Natural Living Expo from 10 am to 6 pm. Free admission, Polk County Convention Complex, 501 Grand Avenue in Des Moines. I will be there, but not in a blogging capacity.

From Ed Fallon’s calendar of events:

April 2 – Bishop Dingman Peace Award Dinner (Ankeny)

This year’s annual award will be accepted by Sister Mary Dingman on behalf of women religious and their communities. Keynote speaker is Tom Cordaro, and it’s at Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Church at 6:00 pm. Contact Jeffrey Weiss with Catholic Peace Ministry at jjwcpm AT yahoo.com.

Sunday, April 3

The Natural Living Expo continues from 11 am to 4 pm at the Polk County Convention Complex in Des Moines. Click here for more information.

Monday, April 4

From the Legislative Services Agency:

The first proposed Congressional and Legislative Redistricting Plan to be submitted to the Iowa General Assembly will be the topic of four public hearings to be held in Council Bluffs, Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines the first week of April. The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission, created pursuant to law, will hold the public hearings to receive the comments of interested citizens and representatives of political subdivisions and organizations on the plan. The plan is being prepared pursuant to law by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency, based on the 2010 Census Bureau population data, using strict nonpartisan guidelines. The plan will be released at 8:15 a.m., on Thursday, March 31, 2011, at the State Capitol.

The five members of the Commission are Chair Maggie Tinsman of Davenport, Rose Brown of Council Bluffs, Lance Ehmcke of Sioux City, Matt Paul of Des Moines, and Eric Turner of Des Moines.

The Council Bluffs public hearing will be held on Monday, April 4, 2011, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in the ICN Room at the Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Avenue. The following ICN sites will be interactive with the Council Bluffs site:

North Iowa Area Community College Room 106, Activity Center 500 College Drive Mason City

Northwest Area Education Agency Room 206 1520 Morningside Avenue Sioux City

Spencer Public Library 21 East Third Street Spencer

The Bettendorf public hearing will be held on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, 729 21st Street.

Iowa General Assembly: www.legis.state.ia.us

The Cedar Rapids public hearing will be held Wednesday, April 6, 2011, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in the ICN Room at Kirkwood Community College, 104 Washington Hall, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW. The following ICN sites will be interactive with the Cedar Rapids site:

Dubuque Downtown – Northeast Iowa Community College

700 Main Street, Dubuque

Great Prairie Area Education Agency 2814 North Court Street Ottumwa

Hawkeye Community College 1501 East Orange Road Waterloo

The Des Moines public hearing will be held on Thursday, April 7, 2011, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the Wallace State Office Building Auditorium, 502 E. 9th St.

Any individual wishing to make comments about the proposed plan at a hearing may contact the Legislative Information Office at (515) 281-5129 and the individual will be listed as a speaker at the hearing requested in the order that the request is received. Those requesting to make comments from an ICN site will be listed in order for that particular ICN site. It is not required that speakers provide written copies of their testimony, but written copies of testimony will be accepted and will be made available to Commission members.

The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission will accept written testimony in lieu of oral presentations either by ordinary mail or by electronic mail if the written testimony is received on or prior to April 7, 2011, by the Legislative Services Agency. Any written testimony must include the name and address of the author.

Oral presentations will be limited to three minutes for each presenter. It is not required that those requesting to speak register in advance of the hearing, but those registering to speak at the hearing location will be called upon to speak after those who registered prior to the hearing. If time remains after all who have registered to speak have spoken, the Commission may hear additional remarks from those who have already spoken and from those who did not register prior to the hearing but wish to speak.

Contact: Craig Cronbaugh Legislative Information Office

515-281-5129 craig.cronbaugh AT legis.state.ia.us

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s calendar:

MRAPS Public Draft Scoping Report Meeting

Location: 2700 Sylvan Road, Nebraska City, NE

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold a public meeting to collect feedback on the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study (MRAPS) Draft Scoping Summary Report. The Corps received comments on the scope of MRAPS last year. Those comments have been addressed in this draft report. Congress directed the Corps to study the Missouri River projects and review the original purposes in the 1944 Flood Control Act to determine if changes are warranted. The eight original purposes are flood control, hydropower, water supply, irrigation, navigation, recreation, water quality, and fish and wildlife. The public meeting will run from 5 to 7 p.m. with a Corps presentation from 5 to 6 p.m. The second hour will be a public speaker feedback period on the Draft Scoping Summary Report. Go to http://www.mraps.org/ for more information.

The Iowa AFL-CIO is organizing another pro-labor solidarity rally:

April 4th – We Are One – Respect Our Rights!

Defend the Dream

Iowa State Capitol West Steps

5:30pm – 6:30pm

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in

Memphis, where he was supporting sanitation workers demanding their dream: The right to bargain collectively for a voice at work and a better life. Today, that same demand is electrifying people across America. It’s the demand of all people–black, white, Latino and Asian American: The right to join together for our common dreams.

Join us at the Iowa State Capitol April 4, 2011, to STAND IN

SOLIDARITY with working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana

across this nation where well-funded, right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights Dr. King gave his life for. It’s a time to show: WE ARE ONE.

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