Weekend open thread: Halloween and local elections

Lousy weather for trick-or-treating last night, but the Windsor Heights Fire Department had a truck going round handing out glow-sticks to the kids. That was fun for the kids.

I miss the days when more people handed out home-made food on Beggars’ Night. There was a guy in my neighborhood in the 1970s who would set up a grill in his driveway and give all the trick-or-treaters hot dogs to eat. People don’t know enough of the neighbors to do that today. We did take an apple from our neighbor two doors down, though.

We saw some impressive pumpkins in our neighborhood, but this photo diary has some of the most creative carvings I’ve ever seen.

Although my kids don’t like face-painting, I liked this article on makeup safety for kids.

Blog for Iowa has a good post up on sugary cereals marketed to children.

There are yard signs all over Windsor Heights for Tuesday’s local elections. I’m voting to re-elect Jerry Sullivan as mayor and Flo Hunter and Diana Willits as City Council members. Diana happens to be a Republican, and I don’t know what Flo’s voter registration is, but they are both doing a great job. They don’t just show up for council meetings; I see them volunteering at every event in Colby Park. In general, I feel this community has more to offer families than it did in the past, and I like the focus on redevelopment and more events like music and movies in the park.

What’s going on in your community? Are you involved in any local election? John Deeth is voting for the students in the Iowa City election.

I have friends on all sides in the race to replace Michael Kiernan as at-large member of the Des Moines City Council. Skip Moore has been endorsed by many labor unions, Leisha Barcus has been endorsed by the Des Moines Register, and the Association of Professional Firefighters is backing David Adelman.

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Events coming up during the rest of July (updated)

The RAGBRAI riders are enjoying some relatively cool weather this week, although last night’s rain may have been unpleasant for campers. If you’re riding and have any anecdotes to share, post them here.

Details on other events going on around the state are after the jump. As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of something I’ve left out.

Occasionally I put a river clean-up on these event calendars, so I wanted to let the Bleeding Heartland community know about this opportunity:

The Iowa Whitewater Coalition today announced the Clean Rivers Team Stewardship Program (CRTSP) — a mini-grant program to help fund local river clean-up activities across Iowa.

Any community group or organization in Iowa is welcome to apply for a grant from the CRTSP for the purpose of paying expenses related to river clean-up activities. Grants are limited to a maximum of $500.

Details are available at www.iowawhitewater.org and a Letter of Application may be submitted at any time to Iowa Whitewater Coalition, PO Box 65453, West Des Moines, IA 50265. Questions can be addressed by Peter Komendowski at 319-269-8493.

UPDATE: Added details on the Iowa Politics forum for Republican gubernatorial candidates (July 22) after the jump.

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Events coming up this weekend and next week

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is holding its annual convention this Saturday, July 18, at the Hotel Fort Des Moines:

Iowa CCI’s statewide annual convention will feature workshops and plenary sessions on factory farming, campaign finance reform, immigration reform, and predatory lending. The convention will conclude with an exciting direct action targeting an undisclosed payday lender in a low-income community in  Des Moines.

More details on that and other events coming up soon are after the jump.

As always, please post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of another event I’ve left out.

To Bleeding Heartland readers who plan to do RAGBRAI next week: consider posting a diary about your experience or any candidates you encounter during the ride. I saw this at Bob Krause’s campaign site:

Eric Rysdam of  Fairfield, Iowa has agreed to ride across the state in  RAGBRAI, The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa with a big Krause banner and shirt. Eric will be the core of an amorphous group participating and getting the word out about for us! Please wish Eric well with his training in anticipation of the July 19-25 event! Eric’s number is 319-293-6306 if you want to wish him well, or if you want to be on the ride with him.

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