Events coming up this week

I couldn't keep up with posting weekly calendars at the height of campaign season, but I'm determined to get back on track.

Events that got lost in the shuffle include the 1000 Friends of Iowa annual meeting in late October, where the 2010 Best Development Awards were announced, and the grand opening of the Roshek Building in Dubuque on November 9. This historic building holds several local businesses and offices for about 1,300 IBM employees. The redevelopment project earned the city of Dubuque a U.S. Commerce Department award for economic development excellence.

I also wish I'd flagged the recent groundbreaking of West Union's Green Pilot Streetscape.

"Today is certainly a milestone, not only for the people of West Union and Fayette County, but for all Iowans and, in fact, much of the nation," David Yocca, senior partner of Conservation Design Forum, later agreed. "The reconstruction of a significant portion of the public realm of West Union as planned is one of, if not the most integrated, wholistic, forward-looking efforts that has been done on any street anywhere in this country."

He explained that the future West Union downtown district will represent an emerging example of green infrastructure, which will serve communities by creating safer, more comfortable, walkable and bikable streets; improve the health of local water, air, and soil;

Restore hydrology and the natural environment; provide long-term cost savings and value over convention infrastructure; support local businesses and job creation; and provide a more beautiful, authentic setting for outdoor use and enjoyment.

The improvements in downtown West Union will be fantastic. Unfortunately, Republican candidates all over Iowa misrepresented this project to spread lies about Democrats funding "heated sidewalks."

Details on some of this week's events around the state are after the jump. Pleast post a comment or e-mail me directly about other events worth noting.  

Monday, November 15

David Cobb of the Move to Amend coalition, which opposes corporate personhood, kicks off an Iowa tour. He's speaking at the ISU Student Union sunroom (2229 Lincoln Way) in Ames on November 15 from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Tuesday, November 16

David Cobb will speak on the movement to end corporate personhood at noon in Fairfield (Revelations Cafe/Coffee Shop, 112 North Main Street). The same evening, he will speak from 7 pm to 9 pm in Cedar Rapids (Free Peoples Unitarian Universalist Church, 600 3rd Ave, SE).

The November Environmental Protection Commission meeting will be held at the DNR Air Quality Bureau, 7900 Hickman Road, in Des Moines, on Nov 16, beginning at 10 a.m. The meeting is open to the public, and the agenda is posted here:  

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has scheduled public input meetings around Iowa this week. The first two will take place on November 16, at 9 am in Clear Lake (Clear Lake Community Center, 15 N. Sixth St.) and at 2 pm in Spencer (Spencer Public Library ICN Room, 21 E. Third St). An Iowa DNR press release of November 1 provides background:

The DNR is looking for input on a statewide plan to provide new, accurate floodplain work maps for Iowa communities and counties by July 1, 2014.

Many local governments have long operated with outdated floodplain maps - or none at all. The DNR is working with the Iowa Flood Center, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other partners to create comprehensive floodplain work maps for Iowans.

The public is invited to attend any of six meetings across Iowa to discuss the plan and order of mapping.

The DNR and the Iowa Flood Center will use state-of-the-art technology to produce the work maps. As a result, the work maps will indicate the depth and extent of potential flooding accurate to within 7 or 8 inches of elevation - compared to historic flood maps that have 5- to 10-foot accuracy.

"This effort should not be confused with flood insurance maps, although the work maps will eventually be developed into FEMA-approved flood insurance rate maps" said Scott Ralston DNR's floodplain mapping coordinator.

"The benefit of the work maps is that communities can use them for planning efforts - helping to protect citizens and property practically as soon as they are developed," he said.

The precision of the work maps will help Iowans know if their property is at risk from flooding. The maps can also assist local officials to determine evacuation areas, establish zoning and flood-proof critical infrastructure.

Iowans can provide input and learn more about the four-year mapping plan at the following times and locations.

   * Clear Lake: Nov. 16, 9 a.m., Clear Lake Community Center, 15 N. Sixth St.

   * Spencer: Nov. 16, 2 p.m., Spencer Public Library (ICN Room), 21 E. Third St.

   * Des Moines: Nov. 17, 9 a.m., Wallace State Office Building Auditorium, 502 E. Ninth St.

   * Atlantic: Nov. 17, 2 p.m., Atlantic Municipal Utilities, 15 W. Third St.

   * Washington: Nov. 18, 9 a.m., Washington Public Library, 115 West Washington

   * Independence: Nov. 18, 2 p.m., Falcon Civic Center, 1305 Fifth Ave. NE

For more information, visit

Or, contact Scott Ralston, DNR Floodplain Mapping Coordinator, at (515) 281-8121 or Scott.Ralston AT

Wednesday, November 17

DNR public input meetings on floodplain mapping are scheduled for 9 am in Des Moines (Wallace State Office Building Auditorium, 502 E. Ninth St.) and 2 pm in Atlantic (Atlantic Municipal Utilities, 15 W. Third St).

David Cobb speaks about ending corporate personhood in Iowa City from 7 pm to 9 pm (Iowa City Public Library, 123 South Linn Street).

Thursday, November 18

DNR public input meetings on floodplain mapping are scheduled for 9 am in Washington (Washington Public Library, 115 West Washington) and 2 pm in Independence (Falcon Civic Center, 1305 Fifth Ave. NE).

David Cobb speaks about ending corporate personhood in Davenport from 7 pm to 9 pm (St. Ambrose University, 518 West Locust Street).

A limited screening of the movie May I Be Frank runs from November 18 through November 20 at Fleur Cinema & Cafe, 4545 Fleur Drive in Des Moines.

The Des Moines area Green Drinks group meets at Mars Cafe, 2318 University Ave (Drake neighborhood) from 5:30-7:30 pm. Come purchase something to eat and/or drink and join others for conversation about the environment and renewable energy. Contact Shari at sharihrdina AT Click here to find other Iowa cities and towns with Green Drinks groups.

Friday, November 19

From the Iowa Environmental Council's e-mail bulletin:

The Inaugural Annual Meeting of the Iowa Food Systems Council will be Friday, November 19 from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm at the Urbandale Public Library, Conference Rooms A & B, 3520 86th Street, Urbandale. IFSC members will be electing the Board of Directors, listening to guest speakers and charting the course for an Iowa food system that advances the health of Iowans, communities, economies and the environment. Nomination packets and IFSC membership information can be accessed at

The Des Moines chapter of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is holding its third annual "Strong Feisty Women Banquet" at the Holiday Inn on 6th Avenue in Des Moines. This year's honorees are Maggie Rawland and State Senator Pam Jochum. Singer Mary McAdams will perform, and David Cobb will give the keynote address on the need to abolish corporate personhood. Bleeding Heartland user Apple posted more details here. Contact wilpf.dsm AT or (515) 210-7928.

Saturday, November 20

Cool Congregations, a project of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, will hold a "how-to workshop" in Urbandale:

Join people of faith in the Des Moines area Saturday, Nov 20 to learn how to conduct the Cool Congregations program in your congregation. Cool Congregations is an earth stewardship program that encourages participants to work in small groups to reduce their impact on the earth. They do this by measuring their carbon footprint and taking simple steps to fulfill a faith-based pledge to cut their energy use, often saving money in the process. We'll meet at 9am-12 noon, St. Pius X Catholic Church, 3663 66th Street, Urbandale. Register online by clicking on the link for the workshop at or contact Bill Cox at or 515-276-0527. Suggested donation: $20/person OR $50/team of 3 or more per congregation. Contact Sarah Webb at coolcongregations AT

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