Open thread with events coming up this week

I didn’t have time to pull this together yesterday, but here’s a late weekend open thread. Share whatever’s on your mind.

(UPDATE: If you think you know American history, see how well you do on Charles Lemos’ Presidents’ Day trivia quiz. Each president is the correct answer to only one question.)

After the jump I’ve posted details on many events coming up this week. I hope to attend the screening of the “Big River” documentary in Des Moines on February 18. It’s a sequel to the must-watch “King Corn,” and the screening is a joint benefit for the Iowa Environmental Council and Practical Farmers of Iowa.

If you are a Democratic candidate in Iowa, please e-mail me your list of upcoming events so I can include them in these threads. (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com)

Oxfam America “is seeking Des Moines area volunteers to lend 5-8 hours of time per week to help them raise awareness of the impacts of climate change on global communities and encourage action to alleviate it.” If you’re interested, you need to contact them by February 15 (information below).

Have a laugh at this from the Onion: New law would ban marriages between people who don’t love each other.


New Law Would Ban Marriages Between People Who Don’t Love Each Other

Monday, February 15

Senate candidate Bob Krause is having a virtual town hall meeting from 7 am to 8 am. More information is at his website.

From Oxfam America:

Are you concerned about poverty, climate change, and natural disasters on a global scale, but not sure how to make a difference at the local level? The Oxfam Action Corps provides a way to change the big picture, starting with your local community, and we’re looking for committed people from the Des Moines area to join today!

Gain leadership skills, have fun, change the world! – Training provided.  Sign up by February 15.  www.oxfamactioncorps.org

The Oxfam Action Corps is a group of dedicated volunteers in more than a dozen US cities who campaign with fellow Oxfam supporters in their neighborhoods at town events and concerts – and in the halls of Congress.  Members gain leadership experience and learn about policy solutions to poverty and climate change – all while having fun and making a better world.  

This year we will mobilize around one of the greatest challenges of our time: climate change and the impact of increased droughts, floods, and storms on the world’s poorest communities.  Oxfam Action Corps will help Oxfam enact solutions and call for an equitable response to the global crisis.

All levels of experience are welcome.  To apply for the DC training or sign up with your local Oxfam Action Corps by February 15, go to:www.oxfamactioncorps.org

Here is what previous Oxfam Action Corps organizers said:

“As an activist, I had done fundraising.  But the Oxfam Action Corps was about public education and raising awareness, and I found people really appreciated my work.”  Khadija, Mechanical Engineer, Pennsylvania.

“My work with the Oxfam Action Corps has helped immensely in building organizing and mobilization skills.  It was a great way for me to start reaching out and getting to know the people in the community.”  Julie, Assistant Human Resources/Office Manager, Colorado.

Your support will be critical to promoting policies that could help lift millions of people out of poverty. You really can make a difference!

Sign up now at www.oxfamamerica.org/actioncorps  before February 15.

Tuesday, February 16

Senate candidate Bob Krause is having a virtual town hall for Benton County from 6:30 am to 7:30 am. More information is at his website.

Reservations are due today if you want to attend the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa’s Crossroads luncheon on Friday (see below).

The League of Women Voters of Iowa is celebrating the organization’s 90th birthday in the year of the 90th anniversary of women’s right to vote.  Governor Culver will be signing a proclamation honoring the League for their work over the last 90 years, and celebrating the passage of the 19th amendment 90 years ago. The event takes place from noon to 1:00 p.m. (proclamation signing at 12:30 p.m.) in the First Floor Rotunda, State Capitol.

One Iowa is having a phone bank from 5:30 to 8:00 pm: Click here if you want to participate from your home or their office.

Senate candidates Tom Fiegen and Bob Krause are meeting with University of Iowa Democrats, 6:00 – 7:30 pm, Kirkwood Room, Iowa Memorial Union.

From the Iowa Environmental Council:

On Farm Digestion: Considering the Options

February 16, Amana Colonies

On February 16, at 9 a.m., the Amana Farms Renewable Energy Center and Iowa State University Extension will be holding the education outreach program “On-Farm Anaerobic Digestion: Considering the Options.” The program will be held at the Iowa Artists Theatre Co. in the Amana Colonies, and it will be followed by a digester tour at the Renewable Energy Center. The three-hour program beginning at 9:00 a.m. will contain information on the Amana Farms beef manure digester including goals and objectives, design and installation, and the farm’s experiences; feasibility considerations for on-farm manure digesters; manure digester opportunities in Iowa; and digester methane production for carbon credits. Following lunch on your own, tours of the Amana Farms digester will be available at the Renewable Energy Center. The registration fee is $25, and no pre-registration is required, attendees should register on-site. http://www.abe.iastate.edu/was…

From I’M for Iowa:

February 16 – Opportunities in Agroforestry (Your Home or Office)

Join Practical Farmers of Iowa from 7:00 – 8:30 pm for this on-line “webinar.” This session is led by Tom Wahl, who will overview the potential for various high-value tree crops suitable for Iowa’s climate, including cultural practices, production, prices, markets, pests and diseases. Tree fruits to be discussed include chestnut, persimmon, heartnut, paw paw, and more. Contact Sally Worley at (515) 232-5661 or sally@practicalfarmers.org.

Bob Krause is having a “CAFO virtual tour” from 7 pm to 8 pm. More information is at his website.

Wednesday, February 17

Bob Krause is having a virtual town hall meeting for Marion County from 7 pm to 8 pm. More information is at his website.

Thursday, February 18

From I’M for Iowa:

February 18 – Restoring the Missouri River to Health (Sioux City)

A talk by Jim Redmond at 7:00 pm in the Gleeson Room of the Aalfs Public Library, 6th & Pierce Streets. Sponsored by Sierra Club. Free. Contact Gerald Iversen at geraldiversen@yahoo.com.

Bob Krause is having a virtual town-hall meeting for Jasper County from 7 pm to 8 pm. More information is at his website.

From the Iowa Environmental Council:

Iowa stars in new documentary about effects of big ag on water quality

Come for the Show, Stay for the Discussion

One night only – February 18

showing of Big River and King Corn at Fleur Cinema in Des Moines.

In King Corn two college buddies plant and sell an acre of corn as an experiment to learn where and how corn is used in food. In Big River, Ian and Curt return to Iowa with a new mission: to investigate the environmental impact their acre of corn has had on the people and places downstream.

Panelists Confirmed for “Big River” and “King Corn” Discussion

After the showing of King Corn and Big River at Fleur Cinema on Thursday, February 18, Iowa Environmental Council and Practical Farmers of Iowa will host a discussion with local farmers and farm researchers. The panel includes Richard Cruse, professor of Agronomy at Iowa State University; Jerry Peckumn, a corn and soybean farmer in Greene County; and Sarah Carlson, a field crop specialist at Practical Farmers of Iowa.

Join us at 6 pm for a pre-film reception. At 6:45 King Corn will begin with Big River and the panel discussion to follow.

Richard Cruse is a professor in the Agronomy Department at Iowa State University and the Director of the Iowa Water Center. His research program involves field and laboratory research in soil and crop management, applied soil physics, and soil fertility, with the aim of evaluating the effect of tillage and cropping systems on soil physical properties, soil and water conservation, and crop growth and yield.

Jerry Peckumn is a farmer from Greene County, Iowa, where he farms over 2000 acres with his son, Tom. Jerry raises corn, soybeans and a small herd of natural beef. On his farm, he uses sound land management tools to minimize runoff and protect the soil. He has created and maintains forty acres of natural prairie and forest for wildlife habitat. Jerry graduated from ISU with a degree in Ag Business and spent many years working with farmers in agriculture banking before farming fulltime.

Sarah Carlson coordinates Practical Farmers of Iowa’s On-farm Research Program and organizes specific outreach focused on cover crops, non-GMO and organic corn hybrid testing and soil and water quality monitoring. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador for 2.5 years, initiating 4 community banks and increasing farmers’ use of low input farming methods. She is originally from northern Illinois and is 1generation “off” the farm. She has a Master’s degree in Agronomy and Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and has lived and worked on farms in Illinois, Iowa and Vermont.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Marian Riggs Gelb, Executive Director of the Iowa Environmental Council.

Tickets: $20 All proceeds benefit Iowa Environmental Council and Practical Farmers of Iowa ($10 for students with guaranteed group of 10.)

To purchase advance tickets, call Iowa Environmental Council at 515-244-1194 ext 200 or visit http://www.practicalfarmers.or…

Friday, February 19

Senate candidate Tom Fiegen will attend the Dream Catchers Annual Soup Supper, 4:30 – 7:30 pm, West Liberty Community Center.

From I’M for Iowa:

February 19 – Interfaith Peace Builders to Israel/Palestine (Sioux City)

Denise Rathman will discuss her 2007 trip at 7:00 pm at First Unitarian Church, 2508 Jackson St. Contact Gerald Iversen at geraldiversen@yahoo.com.

Bob Krause is having a virtual town-hall on jobs and international trade from 7:30 to 8:30 pm. More information is at his website.

From the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa:

Crossroads: A Project about Civility

A monthly gathering of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.  An opportunity to learn, to participate in civil dialogue, and gather with progressive people of faith and goodwill.

Speaker:               Hilary Meyer

Lambda Legal, Fair Courts Project Manager, New York

Hilary Meyer advocates for a fair and impartial judiciary through public education campaigns, speaking engagements, and coalition work. Prior to joining Lambda Legal in 2006, Meyer was an associate at Reitman Parsonnet representing employees and unions in New Jersey. Meyer earned her J.D. from Rutgers Law School Newark and graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University. Meyer also completed a summer fellowship at the Human Rights Campaign, tracking and analyzing state and federal legislation of relevance to the LGBT community.

Subject:               Maintaining Iowa’s Fair and Impartial Judiciary

What is Judicial Independence and why should we care? Hilary Meyer, Fair Courts Project Manager at Lambda Legal will discuss the importance of maintaining Iowa’s fair and impartial judiciary, particularly in times of increased attention when courts are deciding “hot-button” issues. She will explore the recent attacks on the courts from the Religious Right and why progressive-minded allies need to take steps to protect the courts.

Date:                    Friday, February 19

o   Time:        11:45 – 1 p.m.

o   Location:  Plymouth Congregational Church, Des Moines (42nd Street & Ingersoll Ave)

o   Cost:         $9.00

Reservations are needed to attend Crossroads.

Please call (515-279-8715) or email (info@interfaithallianceiowa.org) by next Tuesday, February 16.

Saturday, February 20

For those in the Muscatine area:

-An air-quality forum will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Garfield Elementary School gymnasium, 1409 Wisconsin St.

The forum, which is being presented by the Iowa Environmental Council and the Iowa chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, will feature short presentations by experts from the University of Iowa. There will also be a round-table discussion on how to improve Muscatine’s air quality.

The program will be led by Rep. Nathan Reichert, D-Muscatine; Paul Deaton of Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility; and Leland Searles, air quality program director at the Iowa Environmental Council.

Tom Fiegen will attend Dueling Donkeys – Palo Alto Democrats, 6:00-10:00pm, Emmetsburg VFW west of Hwy 4 and 18.

Sunday, February 21

Tom Fiegen and Bob Krause will attend the Iowa Democratic Veteran’s Caucus forum, 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Hiawatha Public Library.

Bob Krause will attend the Black Hawk County Central Committee meeting at 6 pm.

From the Iowa Environmental Council:

Bald Eagle Watch

Stop by the Saylorville Visitors Center to learn about our national symbol, the bald eagle, from noon-4 p.m. Then venture out to different areas around the lake to observe them in their natural setting. On the same day, Jester Park Lodge will be hosting “Spirit,” a live eagle used for education. Hourly programs at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. will give visitors a close look at this amazing species. All ages welcome.

From Bleeding Heartland user EltonDavis, in the comments:

Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan is speaking at Drake Olmsted Center, Sunday the 21st @ 7:30 pm.

An opportunity to creatively express opposition to the continued funding of U.S. wars of aggression will occur Monday, the 22nd at the U.S. senator’s offices.  

Those willing to risk arrest in non-violent direct action with Cindy and various local activists should contact elton_davis@excite.com by Saturday afternoon for details on non-violence training and scenario planning/walk through.

Pro bono legal advice and representation is available on request.

This event is part and parcel of the Voices for Creative Non-Violence “Peaceable Assemblies Campaign”.

Details @ http://vcnv.org/pac

  • Anti-War Mom Cindy Sheehan

    speaking at Drake Olmsted Center, Sunday the 21st @ 7:30 pm.

    An opportunity to creatively express opposition to the continued funding of U.S. wars of aggression will occur Monday, the 22nd at the U.S. senator’s offices.  

    Those willing to risk arrest in non-violent direct action with Cindy and various local activists should contact elton_davis@excite.com by Saturday afternoon for details on non-violence training and scenario planning/walk through.

    Pro bono legal advice and representation is available on request.

    This event is part and parcel of the Voices for Creative Non-Violence “Peaceable Assemblies Campaign”.

    Details @ http://vcnv.org/pac

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