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 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 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.

Tuesday, July 21:

From I-Renew:

What:   Renew America Roadtrip™ Cedar Rapids stop with the All-electric Tesla Roadster

Where: Kirkwood Community College, Auto Technology Building, Main campus

When:  7:00 – 9:00 pm Tuesday, July 21

This event is hosted by Alliant Energy, the Iowa Renewable Energy Association (I-Renew) and Kirkwood Community College.

The Renew America Roadtrip™ is America’s first green coast-to-coast trip in an all-electric sports car. The event will help raise awareness of renewable, sustainable, and eco-friendly initiatives and features three electric cars, including the Tesla Roadster. The Tesla Roadster is a $100,000 all-electric sports car. The Roadster is a pure battery-electric vehicle with a range of 240 miles per charge, a 130 mph top speed, and goes from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. In addition to the Tesla roadster, the Renew America Roadtrip team includes Jerry Asher and his “Spirit of DC” plug-in-hybrid Prius and a beautiful new 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid support vehicle provided courtesy of Nissan USA. The stop is a chance to view the all-electric Tesla Roadster and talk with the crew of the Roadtrip project, which is demonstrating the advantages of all-electric vehicles. The team will be visiting the area and charging up the vehicle on their way cross-country from New York City to San Francisco. For more details on RAR check out the Web site: http://www.renewamericaroadtri…

For more information on the event, contact I-Renew

or call 319/594-6453.

One Iowa is doing a RAGBRAI canvass in Indianola. Contact One Iowa for more details and to RSVP.

Wednesday, July 22:


Iowa Republicans potentially running for governor in 2010 will talk about the campaign at the next forum, 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 22 at Drake University’s Levitt Hall in Old Main, 2507 University Ave. in Des Moines.

Confirmed panelists include:

* State Sen. Jerry Behn, R-Boone

* Christian Fong of Cedar Rapids

* State Rep. Christopher Rants, R-Sioux City

* State Rep. Rod Roberts, R-Carroll

* Bob Vander Plaats of Sioux City

Additional panelists may be announced in the coming weeks. Des Moines Bureau Chief Lynn Campbell will moderate the program and questions will be accepted from audience members. The event later will be broadcast on the Mediacom Connections channel statewide and will be available for On Demand viewing on Mediacom Channel 1.

The forum is part of the “Cookies and Conversation” series presented by, Mediacom, Wal-Mart and Drake University. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and taping of the show will be from 4 to 5 p.m. Free parking will be available in Drake lots at 26th & University and 25th & Carpenter.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Registration options:



Phone: (515) 309-2941 is an independent, nonpartisan news operation offering a free Web site at and paid subscriber products. For more information, contact Jim Greer at or (515) 309-2941.

The Iowa Initiative, in partnership with Des Moines University Global Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health, is bringing Melody Barnes, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, to Des Moines. To view full day’s schedule and register online, click here.

From I-Renew:

What:   Renew America Roadtrip™ Iowa City stop with the All-electric Telsa Roadster

Where: University of Iowa Madison Street Services Building (MSSB) in Iowa City, on the corner of South Madison and West Prentiss streets.

When:  8:00 – 9:00 am Wednesday, July 22

This event is hosted by The University of Iowa Office of Sustainability and the Iowa Renewable Energy Association (I-Renew).

One Iowa is organizing a marriage equality house party in Washington. Contact One Iowa for more details and to RSVP.

Senator Chuck Grassley’s live, call-in television program will be on Mediacom from 6:30 to 7:00 pm central time. Iowans can phone him by dialing toll-free 800/736-8255.  Questions also can be e-mailed in advance to, or questions can be sent to Grassley using the online micro-blogging site Twitter. Simply add @ChuckGrassley to your twitter message and please include your name and location in Iowa.

Thursday, July 23:

Skip Moore, candidate for Des Moines City Council, is having an open house:

You are invited to meet the candidate at an open house for Skip Moore

Candidate for Des Moines City Council At-Large

Hosted by Susie Burch, Linda Adamson & Karen Shoopman

Thursday, July 23rd

6:00 PM

Food & beverages provided

At the home of Susie Burch

1229 E. 35th St., Des Moines

(Located north of the State Fair grounds, 3 houses north of E. University on the east side of the street)

Please RSVP to Skip Moore or Mitch Henry at 729-2926 or email

From Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa:

Volunteer this Thursday for a phone bank on health-care reform.

Last month’s phone bank was at capacity, let’s do it again!

Join us this Thursday in Des Moines for a volunteer phone bank from 6:30-8:30pm.

Volunteers and staff will call fellow supporters to make sure affordable access to reproductive health care is a priority in any national reform of our health-care system.

Where: Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa

          Cowles Center

          1168 6th Avenue

          Des Moines, IA 50314

When:  Thursday, July 23rd

           6:30 – 8:30pm

Click here to RSVP!

David Adelman, candidate for Des Moines City Council, is holding a fundraiser from 5:00pm-7:30pm at Dos Rios Restuarant on Court Avenue:

Suggested Contributions $25

Please make checks payable to:

Citizens for Adelman

2841 Gilmore Ave

DSM, IA 50312

Appetizers will be provided

Please RSVP to: or

One Iowa is doing a RAGBRAI canvass in Ottumwa. Contact One Iowa for more details and to RSVP.

The same day, One Iowa will do a major phone bank. They are asking for 100 volunteers around the state to make 25 calls each within a two-hour span. Sign up here to help from the comfort of your own home:…

Friday, July 24:

Homophobic and anti-Semitic bigot Fred Phelps is bringing his freak show back to central Iowa.

Meanwhile, One Iowa is putting on a potluck dinner and phone banking event in Ames (click here to RSVP):

July 24, 2009 6:00-8:30 PM

Fourth Friday LGBT & Ally Potluck & Phonebank

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

1015 N Hyland, Ames, IA 50014

(Just one block west of campus!)

Saturday, July 25:

1000 Friends of Iowa is holding its annual meeting at the Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center in Iowa City. The theme this year is “Recognizing and Supporting Sustainability: Transportation, Food, Farm and Schools”. Click here for complete details and registration information.

From the Iowa Environmental Council newsletter:

EXPERITORS! Final sessions “Bluestem and Blazingstar”

July 25-26, Union Hills WMA, south of Clear Lake

Register now for one of the EXPERITORS! experiential small-group learning opportunities. The next sessions, two July sessions at a prairie, have a “Bluestem and Blazingstar” theme and are for all ages. Each event will provide an encounter with nature, with time to reflect and share. To read more about the programs in July, or download a registration form, go to… You can also e-mail program leader Cindy Findley. This program is sponsored by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and supported with funds received in memory of long-time INHF member Marcia Connell. For more information, go to… or contact Cathy Engstrom at 1-800-475-1846.

One Iowa is doing a RAGBRAI canvass in Burlington. Contact One Iowa for more details and to RSVP.

Also from One Iowa:

Join Lambda Legal for a gathering for LGBT parents and their kids! We’re coming together to celebrate Parents’ Day, our families, and the protections we now enjoy in Iowa! Some food and beverages will be provided. This will be a family-friendly event, so bring the kids!

Please RSVP to or call (646) 752-5932. Include the number of adults and children attending.

Co-sponsored with the Family Equality Council and COLAGE.

Iowa City

Saturday, July 25th: 4:00-7:00pm

Creekside Park

1858 7th Ave Ct., Iowa City, IA

Sunday, July 26:

Governor Chet Culver is taking another train tour to promote passenger rail in Iowa:

Governor Chet Culver’s Iowa Unlimited is on the move again, this time with stops in Eastern Iowa on Sunday, July 26.  Designed to raise awareness of passenger rail, the train will make stops in Iowa City, West Liberty, Durant, and Walcott before crossing the Mississippi and holding an event in Moline at the future site of the Quad Cities’ passenger rail depot.

“Restoring passenger rail service is one of the Culver-Judge Administration’s top transportation priorities,” said Governor Culver.  “Reconnecting some of our largest cities to Chicago will add to Iowa’s economic success, and as Governor I look forward to working with all Iowans to expand passenger rail throughout the state.”

Following the stops on Sunday, the Iowa Unlimited will continue to Chicago where Governor Culver will participate in the Midwest High Speed Rail Summit on Monday. The meeting is designed to further efforts to make Chicago a regional passenger rail hub, with lines radiating from the city to communities in other states. Participants will discuss with the Obama Administration ways to utilize Federal Recovery funds to expand passenger rail service throughout the Midwest.

As part of the sessions with other Governors, Governor Culver is also expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on two proposed passenger rail lines – Chicago to Dubuque and Chicago to Iowa City.  Current proposals call for the expansion of the Chicago-to-Iowa City route to Des Moines and points further west.

Traveling with the Governor on Sunday will be state transportation officials, advocates for passenger rail, and community leaders. Congressman David Loebsack will travel from Iowa City to Moline, and Amtrak Board of Directors Chairman Tom Carper will ride with the Governor to the Summit in Chicago from Moline.

Efforts have been taken in recent years to bring passenger rail service back to portions of the state, with current proposals to bring service to Dubuque, the Quad Cities and Iowa City and longer term plans to bring service to other communities such as Des Moines and Council Bluffs.

To help spur efforts, Governor Culver’s signature legislative accomplishment – the I-JOBS Initiative — includes $10 million for multi-modal transportation projects in Iowa, including $3 million for expanded passenger rail service in the state.  In addition, the Iowa Department of Transportation will be competing for federal passenger rail funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  All of these steps position Iowa to work with Illinois and Amtrak to bring new passenger rail lines to the state that connect more Iowa communities with Chicago.

Governor Culver’s Iowa Unlimited is being provided thanks to the generous efforts of the Iowa Interstate Railroad, Ltd.

Below is the timetable for the Iowa Unlimited.

12:00pm Governor Culver’s Iowa Unlimited Send Off Event Old Rock Island Depot, 119 Wright Street, Iowa City

1:26pm Governor Culver’s Iowa Unlimited stops in West Liberty, The Depot, 405 North Elm Street

2:26pm Governor Culver’s Iowa Unlimited Stops in Durant, Pythian Sisters Park, Main Street

3:06pm Governor Culver’s Iowa Unlimited Stops in Walcott, on the tracks (near 103 S. Main)

4:21pm Governor Culver’s Iowa Unlimited stops in Moline, Center Station, 1200 River Drive

One Iowa is kicking off its summer canvassing in Des Moines and Muscatine. Contact One Iowa for more details and to RSVP.

Wednesday, July 29:

From the Iowa Bicycle Coalition:

Event: IBC’S Monthly Chat ‘n Ride

     “Let’s talk about bicycling in the Iowa City area”

What: Informational Meeting

Host: Iowa Bicycle Coalition Supporters

Start Time: Wednesday, July 29 at 12:00pm

End Time: Wednesday, July 29 at 3:30pm

Where: Iowa City Public Library Meeting Room B

This sounds like fun:

The main events of the “Khrushchev in Iowa” 50th anniversary aren’t until August 27-30, but the fun already starts in Coon Rapids next Wednesday, July29!

Author Peter Carlson, will speak at Whiterock Conservancy about his new book, K Blows Top, a hilarious account of Khrushchev’s 1959 US tour.  

“Khushchev’s two-week journey across America quickly became one of the most outlandish episodes in the annals of Cold War history,” wrote Jacob Heilbrunn in The Washington Post.  “A deft and amusing writer, Carlson does a marvelous job of recounting it.”

Come hear Carlson recount some of Khrushchev’s many adventures. The Soviet Premier got stuck in an elevator in New York , and “blew his top” in California over being denied access to Disneyland, but in Iowa , he fared much better.  In the Corn State he was provided with a baby blue Cadillac convertible; ate his first hot dog (only after it was checked by a Geiger counter!); and created at press riot at the Garst Farm.  

So intense was the media pressure that host Roswell Garst, a self-appointed citizen diplomat promoting “Peace through Corn,” ended up fighting off the reporters with handfuls of corn silage.  The Khrushchev visit was Iowa’s first real exposure in the national-level media.

Peter Carlson, author of K Blows Top

5:30 pm

Wednesday, July 29

The Riverhouse at Whiterock Conservancy

1313 Fig Avenue, Coon Rapids

Come hear Carlson tell all about it, and you can also buy a copy of his book!  Just out, K Blows Top: A Cold War Comic Interlude, starring Nikita Khrushchev, America’s Most Unlikely Tourist, has already won praise in publications ranging from Parade magazine to the Boston Globe to The Onion.

For all lovers of Iowa, Coon Rapids, history, and hilarity, this July 29 event is not to be missed!!

Following Carlson’s 5:30 author talk, feel free to stay on for a 6:30 grill-out and live music starting at 8:00.  Three bands (Local Natives, Snowblink, and Mac Lethal) will be playing at Whiterock’s Riverhouse Barn as the culmination for the first-ever Daytrotter Barnstormer (see for more information).

“Khrushchev in Iowa ” commemorative activities will continue in August.  Don’t miss the Agricultural Progress Festival to be held in Coon Rapids on Saturday August 29th.  This will include a ceremony to celebrate the entry of the Garst Farm (now owned by Whiterock Conservancy) into the National Register of Historic Places, historic film clips, performance of an original two-person play on the Garst-Khrushchev relation, a farm machinery parade, speeches by Sergei Khrushchev and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; plantings of corn from different eras; agribusiness displays; family-fun activities; live music; food; and a beer garden.  See for more details.

DIRECTIONS: Coon Rapids is located on Highway 141, 70 northwest of Des Moines and 100 miles east of Omaha . The Riverhouse is located at 1313 Fig Ave.  To get there go 2.3 miles east of Coon Rapids on Hwy 141, then turn south on Fig Ave (gravel) and continue for an additional 2.2 miles.  The house and barn are located just before the river bridge, on the right.  Parking is on the left side of the road.  

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  • You are invited to meet the candidate at an open house for Skip Moore

    You are invited to meet the candidate at an open house for Skip Moore

    Candidate for Des Moines City Council At-Large

    Hosted by Susie Burch, Linda Adamson & Karen Shoopman

    Thursday, July 23rd

    6:00 PM

    Food & beverages provided

    At the home of Susie Burch

    1229 E. 35th St., Des Moines

    (Located north of the State Fair grounds, 3 houses north of E. University on the east side of the street)

    Please RSVP to Skip Moore or Mitch Henry at 729-2926 or email

  • You are invited to meet the candidate at an open house for Skip Moore

    You are invited to meet the candidate at an open house for Skip Moore

    Candidate for Des Moines City Council At-Large

    Hosted by Kathrine & Ralph Caracciolo, Connie & Isabella Marturello, Vincent Scavo & Joe Henry

    Thursday, August 13th

    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

    Food & beverages provided

    At the home of Joe Henry

    2463 E. Highview Drive,  Des Moines

    Please RSVP to Skip Moore or Mitch Henry at 729-2926 or email