Events coming up during the next two weeks

This April is shaping up to be a relatively quiet month in Iowa politics, with the legislature already adjourned for the year. However, after the jump you’ll find details for many events coming up soon. Please post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT if you know of an event I’ve left out.

I have also posted information about an internship opportunity for women who would like to work on a sustainable farm, as well as a grant opportunity called “Iowa Sun4Schools.” It’s for Iowa schools that may want to install a solar array: “In addition to supplying electricity to the facility, the solar array will serve as an educational and research tool, and as a symbol of the schools commitment to saving energy and reducing their carbon footprint.”

UPDATE: Iowa nonprofit, charitable and government organizations have until April 16 to nominate people for the Governor’s Volunteer Award.

SECOND UPDATE: The Fred Phelps freak show is coming back to Des Moines on April 10 to protest a constitutional law symposium on same-sex marriage at Drake University. Click here for details about counter-protests being planned.

Tuesday, April 6:

Health Care for America Now, the Iowa Citizen Action Network and other groups are organizing an event to thank Congressman Leonard Boswell for voting for health insurance reform. “Spokespersons for small business owners, older adults, senior citizens and students will gather with other Iowans at Drake University Law School to thank the Congressman and explain how the new law affects them.” The event takes place at 5:30 pm at Drake University Law School, 2621 Carpenter Avenue, Room #205.

From the Iowa Environmental Council newsletter:

The Iowa Food Cooperative would like to invite you to a gathering at The Des Moines Social Club, on Tuesday, April 6 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., to learn how you can get healthy, local food from local Iowa farmers. We’ll have delicious samples prepared by local chefs and members, Cynthia and Jason Kapela. Meet some of our producers and Iowa Food Cooperative members and listen as they share their stories and answer questions. For more information: Please RSVP to Lynn Fallon at  

Mike Denklau, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Iowa’s fifth district, will be the guest on The Fallon Forum radio program. It’s on from 7:00-8:00 pm on 98.3 WOW-FM or live-streamed at You can call-in at (515) 312-0983 or toll free at (866) 908-TALK.

From I’M for Iowa:

April 6, 7 & 8 – Benefit for Central Iowa Shelter and Services (Des Moines)

CISS is Iowa’s largest homeless shelter and houses over 100 men and women each night at no charge. If you dine at Gino’s Restaurant any of these nights, 10% of your bill will be donated to CISS, though you need to present a coupon designed for this purpose. Gino’s is at 2809 6th Ave. [in Des Moines] Contact Judy Anderson for coupon information at (515) 278-0939 or

Wednesday, April 7:

The three Republican candidates for governor will debate in Sioux City. KTIV will live-stream the debate at 1 pm on the station’s website. The debate will be broadcast at 7 pm the same day on KTIV, KWWL in Waterloo, and KTTC in Rochester, Minn. Iowa Public Television will broadcast the debate as well, but I don’t know the details on times. KTIV and KTTC will rebroadcast the debate on April 11.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Chris Van Hollen will be the featured guest at a fundraiser for Leonard Boswell’s campaign. Congressman Dave Loebsack will be there as well. The reception takes place from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at 11 SW 51st St in Des Moines. Suggested Contribution Levels (per person): Co-Host:  $1000, Sponsor:  $500, Patron:  $250, Guest: $50. Please RSVP to Brian Fritsch at

brian.fritsch AT or (515) 883-2254.

Thursday, April 8:

From the Iowa Environmental Council newsletter:

Lecture: Natural Flows: Water, Flooding, and Nature in Iowa

Connie Mutel will speak at Buena Vista University, Estelle Siebens Science Center Room 126 on the BVU campus in Storm Lake, Iowa on April 8 2010 at 7:00 PM. A reception will follow at 8:00 PM. Connie Mutel is the author of The Emerald Horizon: The History of Nature in Iowa and the editor of A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Iowa Floods of 2008. She has written extensively about nature, ecosystems, and human effects on Iowa’s environment. She will interpret the 2008 floods in Iowa in the context of the natural water flows of the Tallgrass prairie and changes in the landscape,   streams and rivers over the past 160 years. She proposes “a vision for the future” to restore functioning ecosystems and ecosystem services, leading to a less flood-­prone hydrology. Contact Carolyn Ashbaugh, for further information about the talk and about a book signing at the Storm Lake Public Library on April 7.

From I’M for Iowa:

Make a Rain Barrel for your Garden (Iowa City)

Join ECO Iowa City to learn how to make a simple rain barrel to improve water quality and reduce the amount of runoff at your home. Presentation by Chant Eicke, environmental scientist and wetland delineator with EarthView Environmental, LLC. The event starts at 7:00 pm at the Iowa City Public Library.

Friday, April 9:

The Madison County Democrats are having their annual dinner starting at 6 pm at the Jackson Community Building, Madison County Fairgrounds (Winterset, IA) State Highway 322. Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate Roxanne Conlin and Tom Fiegen will be there.

From the Sierra Club’s Iowa Topics list:



AMES – Water quality professionals and volunteers can discover how Iowans are improving Iowa’s water resources at the DNR’s 10-Year Water Monitoring Conference and IOWATER Open Forum. The conference will be held April 9 to 10 at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus in Ames.

This year’s conference will address hydrology and water quality, public health, nutrients, community involvement in water quality protection, biological health and stormwater issues.

In addition to concurrent sessions the conference will feature two morning plenary speakers and an evening keynote speaker.

Regional Climate Trends and Observation: Some Hydrologic Implications

Mark Seeley, professor and Extension climatologist, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn.

Restoring the Water Commons: Smart, Clean, and Green Infrastructure

Valerie Nelson, director, Coalition for Alternative Wastewater Treatment, Massachusetts

Keynote: Natural Flows: A History of Water and Nature in Iowa

Connie Mutel, ecologist and author

Saturday’s IOWATER open forum will highlight successes from the program’s 10-year history and discuss the future of the program. In 2009, Iowa lead the nation in the number of volunteers participating in World Water Monitoring Day with more than 3,000 participants monitoring nearly 800 sites. For more information on World Water Monitoring Day, visit

Registration for the 10-year Water Monitoring Conference and IOWATER Open Forum is $30 before 5 p.m. April 2 and $35 after. The registration fee will be waived for IOWATER and AWARE volunteers who are not federal, state or county employees.

Registration information and agendas are posted at .

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Pat Heitman at (319) 335-1576 or

Saturday, April 10:

The IOWATER forum in Ames continues (see information above).

Iowa College Democrats are having a convention at the Memorial Union in Iowa City from 1 pm to 4 pm. Senate candidates Tom Fiegen and Bob Krause will be there.

From 4 pm to 5 pm Krause will hold a reception in the Long Branch Hotel in Cedar Rapids, after which he will attend the Linn County Democrats Hall of Fame dinner in the same hotel, beginning at 6 pm. Fiegen will also attend the dinner.

Roxanne Conlin will meet with supporters in Butler County from 11 am to 12 pm in the Allison Public Library, 412 3rd Street in Allison. She will meet with supporters in Floyd County from 1 pm to 2 pm in the Charles City Public Library, 106 Milwaukee Mall in Charles City.

From I’M for Iowa:

Fortieth Anniversary of Earth Day Concert (Sioux City)

Six bands. All ages welcome. Family activities. At Morningside College Outdoor Performance Space (Eppley Auditorium in case of bad weather). Sponsored by Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Friends of Stone Park, Woodbury Co. Conservation Foundation and others. Details at…

Tuesday, April 13:

Bob Krause is holding a reception from 5 pm to 6 pm at A&G Steak House in Creston. He’ll attend the Page County Central Committee meeting at 7 pm the same day.

Wednesday, April 14:

Bob Krause will be interviewed on the Bradshaw radio program, 98.3 WOW-FM in Des Moines, from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm.

From I’M for Iowa:

Nature’s Instructions are Written in Grasslands Lecture (Sioux City)

A lecture by Missoula-based environmental writer Richard Manning (author of “Grassland” and “Rewilding the West: Restoration in a Prairie Landscape”). At St. Francis Center, Briar Cliff University. Event coordinated by BCU’s Center for Prairie Studies. Free and open to the public. Contact Gerald Iversen at

Thursday, April 15:

Tom Fiegen will attend a STAR-PAC meeting beginning at 7:15 am at Chet Guinn’s Fire Station, 1041 8th Street in Des Moines.

Bob Krause is holding an event from 6 pm to 7 pm at the Betsy Mayfield Residence, 3306 Court in Ames.

From the Women, Food and Agriculture Network:

Women Interested in Sustainable Ag Careers Invited to Apply for Iowa On-Farm Work Experience by April 15

WFAN has received funding to place a limited number of women interested in careers in sustainable agriculture on working small-market farms for 8 to 10 weeks of on-farm experience during the 2010 growing season.

We are currently seeking applicants who want to gain on-farm experience with market farming, including raising and harvesting vegetables, marketing, delivery, and possibly livestock or poultry care.

A modest stipend will be paid to interns and host farmers.

If you are a woman interested in a career in sustainable agriculture who would like to explore an on-farm work experience this summer, please send a cover letter and resume to this email address [leigh AT] by April 15, 2010.

From I’M for Iowa:

April 15 – Julia Butterfly Hill Talk (Sioux City)

More than ten years ago, Julia Butterfly Hill lived in a giant California redwood tree for 738 days to prevent loggers from cutting it down. She is now an environmental activist, writer and poet. Her talk and dinner are at Morningside College from 5:30 – 7:00 pm in Roadman Hall Formal Dining Room. There is a charge. Contact Gerald Iversen at

Friday, April 16:

Bob Krause is holding a rally in Lake Mills to call attention to job losses caused by NAFTA. More details here. Excerpt from March 31 press release:

Four hundred people in Lake Mills are losing their jobs to NAFTA, and Bob Krause, Democratic Candidate for U. S. Senate, would like to do something about it. Krause said today that he will hold an event on April 16 described as a listening and advocacy session to help the 400 employees of the Cummins Filtration manufacturing plant.

The plant is to be closed this spring, and an existing Cummins plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, will be a recipient of the jobs. Krause hopes that people across Iowa who are concerned about the international outsourcing of jobs will join him.

The event will begin at 1:45 p.m. at the Grand Restaurant, 201 West Main Street in Lake Mills, the Winnebago County hometown of former governor Terry Branstad, who is now running for the Republican nomination for that job.

“Instead of getting $14.00 per hour, the new employees in Mexico will get $1.50 per hour,” said Krause. “To add insult to injury, Cummins Filtration will receive a half million dollar grant from the Mexican government to train the new workers,” he added.

Saturday, April 17:

Bob Krause is holding an event from 12 pm to 1 pm at the Sarah Elliot Residence, 3816 Primrose Ave. in Osage.

From Whiterock Conservancy:

Whiterock Conservancy’s NEW Bur Oak Visitor’s is now open to the public! Join us in celebration of its official opening on Saturday, April 17th from 1:00-5:00pm. This is a free event.

Come and explore our new 3-mile sustainable trail system that links Coon Rapids to 4,300 acres and 30+ additional miles of dirt trails. Learn about the landscape and its natural history by checking out 29 new interpretive signs.

The afternoon will include:

   * Rare bird display and bird release by Kay Neumann of Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR)

   * Guided wetland and savanna walk by WRC ecologist Elizabeth Hill

   * Wildlife presentation by ISU Extension wildlife biologist Rebecca Christoffel with local mammal fur display

   * Live music by famed Iowa folk musician Dave Moore

So come celebrate with family and friends and help us kick off an exciting recreational season!

The Bur Oak Visitor’s Center is located just east of Coon Rapids on Highway 141. Look for road signs to guide you.

From the Iowa Environmental Council newsletter:

Osprey 5K Fun Run/Walk

An Osprey 5K will take place Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. (8:00-8:45 a.m. Registration/Packet Pick Up at the Annett Nature Center). The course starts and finishes at the Annett Nature Center, located at 15565 118th Avenue in Indianola. The 3.1 mile route includes Lake Ahquabi State Park. Immediately following the event, snacks and refreshments will be served and prizes will be awarded. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Annett Nature Center Osprey Project. Get your registration form at For information contact Missy Smith at 515-961-6169 or

Sunday, April 18:

Earth Day events will take place around the state. One of the biggest in central Iowa is Earth Day in the Junction, in the Valley Junction neighborhood of West Des Moines. More details are available here.

Monday, April 19:

From the National Center for Appropriate Technology:

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Midwest Office is happy to announce the release of the Request for Proposals for the “Sun4Schools” program.

NCAT will partner with 5 Iowa schools to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system at each school and provide additional educational resources (curriculums, workshops) for the school and local community. In addition to supplying electricity to the facility, the solar array will serve as an educational and research tool, and as a symbol of the schools commitment to saving energy and reducing their carbon footprint. The “Iowa Sun4Schools” program is designed to reward schools who have actively pursued energy saving measures in their facilities and selection criteria will be based on the community buy-in in the schools conservation efforts.

The main objective of this project is to demonstrate the benefits of solar energy while providing a unique educational opportunity for students and their communities. NCAT has developed a curriculum for teachers to maximize the educational potential of the solar arrays. The Iowa Sun4Schools project will have the added benefit of providing solar installation experience for local electricians, while helping to grow the market for solar in Iowa. Funding for this project is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and is managed by the Iowa Office of Energy Independence.

Rather than funding each individual school to design, purchase and install a unique solar array, NCAT will provide each school with a pre-packaged system including solar panels, a grid-tie inverter and a mounting rack. All components will be the same for each system. This will allow NCAT to bulk buy system components and keep equipment prices down, while also building a state network of identical data collection sites to provide consistent monitoring for future research, education and modeling projects. Along with the system components, NCAT will provide an instructor for a free solar workshop for members of each community selected, and a training session for the local science teachers who will be teaching the NCAT solar curriculum.

Please contact mee if you would like a copy of the RFP. Proposals are due by 5pm April 19, 2010. Please feel free to contact me with any questions – we are happy to assist you and look forward to working with you to submit the best possible proposal.



———— ——

Rich Dana

Energy Specialist

National Center for Appropriate Technology


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