Iowa City ranked 10th most "livable" city in U.S.

Iowa City ranks tenth on Livability.com’s second annual list of “100 Best Places to Live” among small to mid-sized cities in the U.S. Looking at 2,000 cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000, researchers calculated each city’s “LivScore” using 40 data points falling under eight broad categories, explained in more detail here: amenities, demographics, economy, education, health care, housing, social and civic capital, and transportation. The website said of Iowa City,

Annual cultural events and a strong literary history with writers like John Irving and Flannery O’Connor have helped shape Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa. The college community offers a hardy arts and entertainment environment along with good health care for residents, highlighted by Mercy Hospital and the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Iowa City has previously been recognized as Iowa’s most walkable city.

Farther down the list of “Best Places to Live,” Iowa cities mentioned were Ames at number 30, West Des Moines at number 57, Cedar Rapids at number 65, and Des Moines at number 82.

Livability.com explained the methodology underlying the list here. The website tweaked the criteria they used last year to compile the first “Best Places to Live” list:

Specifically, we wanted to add some more variables about health care; look at the role of proximity to institutions like hospitals, colleges and universities; and create a better balance between our survey questions and the topics we were measuring. We created some new variables including a measure of racial and ethnic diversity and a rather unique look at the diversity of housing stock.

Those changes allowed Iowa City to move up from number 47 last year to this year’s top ten. Iowa’s highest-ranking city on Livability.com’s inaugural list was Cedar Rapids at number 30, followed by Ames at number 32. Des Moines was ranked number 70 and West Des Moines number 77 last year.

Continue Reading...

Iowa Rivers Revival - 3rd River Congress

Iowa Rivers Revival
3rd River Congress
Saturday, January 8, 2011
1-5PM
Izaak Walton League
4343 George Flagg Pkwy, Des Moines
FREE
& open to anyone interested in attending
EXHIBIT: $100/table
RSVP: rlehman@iowarivers.org; 515-202-7720 (name, address, phone, e-mail, and river(s) of interest)

Each River Congress continues to build and broaden the base of Iowa’s river community and strengthen river policy influence. The most important aspect of the Congress is to develop a statewide river network-a force of river supporters who communicate with policy leaders about the importance of water quality and river conservation. We continue to hear from Iowa legislators and Iowans alike that there is no voice for Iowa’s rivers – with your help, we can to change that!

IRR has recently retained lobbying services for the 2011 session. We are excited to be able to provide representation for Iowa’s rivers on the hill and better inform you about river policy issues during the legislative session.

Congress participants will learn about the 2011 legislative landscape and river priorities, and how we can work together to achieve those goals. The program will also highlight and discuss the economic value of rivers, and the need, importance and opportunities to expand a statewide river coalition. In 2008 River Congress participants helped draft a vision for the River Bill of Rights, we would like to revisit those principles each year to be sure they continue to be the goals and objectives for Iowa’s river advocates.

River Congress Links: www.iowarivers.org
River Congress Agenda
River Bill of Rights 2011
Legislative Agenda River Congress

Sponsors: Des Moines Izaak Walton League and the Raccoon River Watershed Association

Please share this invitation – the outcomes from the River Congress should reflect a range of river perspectives and experiences from across the state: River Advocates • Conservationists & Environmentalists • Watershed Groups • Farmers • Anglers • Community Leaders • Hunters • Recreationists • Outdoor Outfitters • Students • Teachers • Wildlife Observers • Concerned Citizens-anyone interested in water quality and river stewardship.

Please RSVP. We will be providing district-watershed specific information for each participant. It will be very helpful to have participants RSVP in advance to help prepare this information. We will enter each participant that RSVPs in a drawing for a door prize.

Rosalyn Lehman
Executive Director
Iowa Rivers Revival
PO Box 72, Des Moines, IA 50301
515-202-7720
rlehman@iowarivers.org | www.iowarivers.org

Continue Reading...

Iowa Rivers Revival's 2nd River Congress: Iowans committed to river conservation

Saturday, January 23, 2010

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Story County Conservation Board

56461 180th St, Ames, Iowa

No Cost

RSVP: Rosalyn Lehman, rlehman@iowarivers.org; 515-202-7720

Link for the AGENDA:  http://www.iowarivers.org/Link…

Iowa Rivers Revival will host a 2nd River Congress to continue to build upon the interest and success from last year’s Congress-over 70 people attended and identified key river concerns and priorities and created a River Bill of Rights:  http://www.iowarivers.org/Legi…

The purpose of the 2nd River Congress is to continue to expand the statewide network of river supporters who are willing to communicate with their legislators about the importance of water quality and river conservation, discuss current river issues and concerns, participate in a legislative discussion and a workshop on effective advocacy.  

We continue to hear from Iowa legislators and Iowans alike that there is no voice for Iowa’s rivers – with your help, we can to change that!  The River Congress if free and open to anyone interested in attending.

Please share this invitation – the outcomes from the River Congress should reflect a range of river perspectives and experiences from across the state:  River Advocates • Conservationists & Environmentalists • Watershed Groups • Farmers • Anglers • Hunters • Recreationists • Students • Teachers • Wildlife Observers • Concerned Citizens-anyone interested in water quality and river stewardship.

Continue Reading...

Celebrate the 350.org International Day of Climate Action this Saturday in Iowa

(Thanks for the heads up about these events. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

This Saturday, participants in over 3,000 events in 170 countries will observe the 350.org International Day of Climate action. Activists will ask international and national leaders to take real action to reduce CO2 levels from 390 to 350 parts per million and protect our planet.   

1Sky has helped plan many of these events and here in Iowa, we'll also be calling for Senators Harkin and Grassley to take real action to create clean energy jobs.

If you're concerned about Climate Change, please check out one of the events occurring in a town near you.  

And if you're in Des Moines tomorrow night, 1Sky will be hosting an open house at our new office at 118 SE 4th Street, inside the Market Street Media Foundry, at 6:00 P.M.

Wherever possible, at events across Iowa, 1Sky will provide postcards and scripts so that you can tell Senators Harkin and Grassley that you hold them personally responsible for the action we need to save our climate for our children and grandchildren and boost our economy with new green jobs.

Links to events planned by local activists in Fairfield, Ames, Des Moines, Waverly, Cedar Falls, Quad Cities, and Iowa City are available after the cut… 

Continue Reading...

A28 Impeachment Caravan

The A28 Website

A28 – April 28th – will see a number of nationwide impeachment actions.  Iowa will have a presence, thanks to volunteer Sue Ann Johnson:

The A28 Iowa Impeachment Portrait Caravan: I am planning to drive across the great state of Iowa on Saturday, April 28th and meet friends and supporters at various locations along the way (Fort Dodge, Ames, Des Moines, Iowa City, etc.) to photograph people from across Iowa holding block-letter signs to spell “IMPEACH”. I want to demonstrate that Iowans support impeachment and to remind our state legislators of that, too. My schedule is as follows: I’ll be starting out at 8 am in Fort Dodge at the Fort Dodge Public Library. My next stop will be in Ames at the Iowa State Memorial Union (ISU campus) north side fountain (between Union Drive and the front door) at 10 am. At 12 noon, I’ll be in Des Moines at the Iowa State Capitol Building, Spanish-American War Monument (E. 12th Street). The last stop of the day will be in Iowa City at the south side of the Iowa Memorial Union (UIowa campus), near Hubbard Park at 3 pm. This event is for anyone who supports impeaching America’s leaders regarding their decisions to involve our nation in a war in Iraq and their consequent decisions to spy on the American public in open violation of the law and sanction the use of torture. Participants can meet me at one of the above locations, or drive with me caravan-style to several locations. Make a statement without saying a word! Contact: sueannjohnson79 [at] Hotmail

(email address altered for anti-spam sanity- if you can’t figure it out, contact me.)

I’ll be meeting our caravan Saturday at Noon at the Capitol!  Bring your signs –  I’ll be bringing my car with it’s impeachment stickers.

Continue Reading...

Obama Ames speech impressions

( - promoted by Drew Miller)

First Diary anywhere.  Forgive the disjointedness.

I went to the speech.  There were around 4-5k people there by my rough estimate (bottom tier of seats at Hilton full 2/3 of the way around, 400 or so on the floor, and top tier sparsely seated 2/3 of the way around.)  In respose to the question below as to whether it would be mostly students, I would say that it appeared to be about 1/2-2/3 students. 

Seemed to be his standard speech (see the reviews of his Springfield speech.)  His speech didn’t have obvious pauses for applause, so the audience never got roaring, just moderate rounds of applause.  He included calls for increased teacher pay, which seems out of place in a presidential race given that teacher pay is a state and local issue.  Smacked too much of telling people what they want to hear.

Was dissapointed by one introduction (I think it was Tom Miller) who stated Barack was the “only major candidate” to actively oppose the Iraq war from the beginning.  That whole “major candidate” political weaselling to shut out Kucinich and Vilsack seemed unnecessary.  Sure he’s trying to win, but a shout out to those who support his views would seem to be a magnanimous gesture.  And if those other candidates are really so minor,  why not get on their good sides for when their campaigns go under?

He must have read Snipehunter’s diary, as he did actively solicit caucus pledge cards from the audience.

I was dissapointed by his use of the term “homeland”.  The term still gives me the willies and there is no reason to continue to use it.  “Our nation” worked just fine for 200 years.  Let’s take back the framing of the debate and drop this Republican coined phrase.

I was also dissapointed by another phrase he used. He stated that America must be feared AND respected, or words to that effect.  Implying that we need more active diplomacy, which is of course a good thing.  But really, I see no reason for us to be feared at all.  That’s a meme that can die with “homeland.”

But all in all, he was clean and articulate and I’d have a beer with him.

Continue Reading...
View More...