Events coming up during the next two weeks

I’m late getting my calendar up this week. As always, please post a comment or send me an e-mail if you know of a public event worth mentioning here.

Various advocacy organizations continue to hold lobby days at the state capitol as the first “funnel” deadline for legislation approaches. The Department of Natural Resources is holding public meetings around the state this month to discuss air and water quality issues. Also, the sixth annual Iowa Governors Conference on LGBTQ Youth takes place on February 24. Details on those events and more are after the jump.

Tuesday, February 15

Friends of Iowa Midwives is having a lobby day at the state capitol “to talk to legislators about why Iowans need increased access to midwifery and birth options.” Click the link for more details.

Today is the deadline to RSVP for the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa’s Crossroads luncheon on February 18 (see below).

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is holding a series of public meetings around the state to discuss water quality standards. The first will take place in Atlantic from 4 pm to 7 pm on February 15 at the Rock Island Depot, 102 Chestnut Street. Background:

DES MOINES The DNR wants to know Iowans’ thoughts on improving the state’s water quality goals as the DNR conducts its every-three-years review of water quality standards. Iowans can attend one of six meetings across the state.

The meetings, part of the triennial review process set forth in the federal Clean Water Act, allow Iowans the opportunity to provide the DNR information to help in setting the goals for streams and rivers.

“This is the public’s opportunity to tell us what is important to them,” said Rochelle Cardinale, the DNR’s water quality standards coordinator. “We want to hear Iowans’ concerns about potential pollutant levels, how streams are being used and how to protect existing water quality.”

The triennial review process ensures water quality standards, as listed in Chapter 61 of the Iowa Administrative Code, are up-to-date. Following the public comment period, the DNR will meet with a technical advisory committee to evaluate the suggestions. The DNR will then prioritize issues identified in the comments and develop a proposed work plan to address those items.

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s calendar:

Energy Efficiency Audit Strategies

February 15, 2011 @ 12:00:00 PM until February 15, 2011 @ 01:00:00 PM

Location: Internet The fourth in Clean Energy Ambassadors’ winter webinar series for consumer-owned utilities and their customers, this interactive presentation on energy features experts from Linn County REC and the Western Area Power Administration. Sign up for the webinar here: http://cleanenergyambassadors….

Wednesday, February 16

The DNR is hosting a public meeting in Spencer to discuss water quality goals. Spencer Public Library (ICN Room), 21 East Third St, 4 pm to 7 pm.

From Iowa Rivers Revival:

Don’t miss IRR’s rescheduled Legislative Reception – Wednesday, February 16 from 5-7PM (details below).  Each year the Legislative Reception attracts a diverse group of House and Senate members in addition to river supporters.  We encourage you to invite your legislators to come and be a part of the conversation about our rivers and water quality  in Iowa. […]

Iowa Senate:  515.281.3371

Iowa House: 515.281.3221


IRR board members, river enthusiasts and supporters will be talking with Iowa legislators about Iowa’s rivers – rivers provide many economic, health, environmental, community, recreational, and spiritual benefits and connections.  Join the discussion on how we can work together to protect and enhance Iowa’s water quality and river resources. Hear river stories and experiences, view a photo display of many of Iowa’s 73,000 miles of rivers and share your own river memories.  Light beverages and appetizers will be provided.  Free and open to anyone interested in rivers.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Noodle Zoo Cafe, E. 6th St. & Locust, Des Moines. Please pass this invitation on to other river supporters.….

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s calendar:

Erosion Control – Stormwater Workshop

Location: Museum of Arts – Cedar Rapids

The City of Cedar Rapids will be hosting a workshop on stormwater and erosion control. Our featured speaker is Joe Griffin from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. He will be speaking on “Stormwater Discharge Associated with Construction Activities.” There will also be a presentation on “How to write a SWPPP.”

Time: 09:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Iowa Learning Farms Webinar

Iowa Learning Farms is hosting a series of webinars at noon on the third Wednesday of each month in 2011. Feb 16 webinar: “Will the rain ever stop?” Christopher Anderson, ISU Climate Science Program. To connect to the webinars, go to: http://connect.extension.iasta…

Visit the ILF website to download a PDF file with detailed instructions or to view archived webinars:

The Iowa Department for Natural Resources has scheduled a public meeting to discuss lead air pollution in Council Bluffs:

The Department of Natural Resources Air Quality Bureau (DNR) will hold a public meeting Feb. 16 at 9:30 a.m. at the Council Bluffs Community Hall, 205 South Main Street, on a proposed lead nonattainment area in Council Bluffs. The purpose of the meetings is to provide more information on the proposed nonattainment area and seek input from the public, businesses and other affected stakeholders.

A nonattainment area is designated when outdoor (ambient) air pollution levels violate the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).  The lead monitor located in Council Bluffs has measured five violations of the NAAQS for lead, from data collected through October 2010.

In 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered the lead NAAQS from 1.5 to 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, measured as a consecutive three-month rolling average.  EPA lowered the lead NAAQS due to recent scientific studies that indicate people’s health is impacted at lower levels than previously understood.

Because the monitor measures ambient air quality and not specific sources of lead pollution, the EPA has directed the DNR to make a nonattainment area boundary recommendation that will focus the DNR’s effort in planning to bring the affected area back into attainment by December 2016. Sources of lead emissions to the air include industrial combustion and ore and metals processing.

Please contact Jim McGraw at (515) 242-5167 jim.mcgraw AT or Matthew Johnson at (515) 242-5164 matthew.johnson AT with questions about the meeting. More information about the monitoring data is available on the DNR website at…  

Thursday, February 17

The DNR is holding another public meeting to discuss water quality standards. Location:

Clear Lake Community Center, 15 North Sixth St., 1:30 to 4:30 pm.

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s calendar:

Existing Home Assessment Luncheon Learn: Basements

Location: Windsor Heights Community Center, 6900 School St, Windsor Heights

The 6-part Existing Home Assessment workshop series provides necessary resources for homeowners to efficiently operate and maintain their homes. Instruction is guided by the principles of green building: durability, sustainability, energy efficiency, healthy indoor air quality, and resource management and conservation. See for more information.

Friday, February 18

The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa is having its monthly Crossroads luncheon:

 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.

Presenter:                Fred Lorber

President and Chairman of the Board, retired, Lortex Inc.

Member, Temple B’Nai Jeshurun Temple, Des Moines

Subject:                    Growing up in Nazi Austria

Fred will share his experiences as a child growing up in Nazi Austria. He will explore Nazism and the repercussions it had on his life and the lives of so many others.  What lessons can we learn from this dark part of world history and what will the results be if we do not pay attention to the misuse in our own religious tradition and the extremes possible?

Date:                          Friday, February 18

  Time:        11:45 – 1 p.m.

  Location:  Plymouth Congregational Church, 4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines

  Cost:         $10.00

Reservations are necessary to attend Crossroads.  Please call 515-279-8715 or email info AT by Tuesday, February 15.

Tuesday, February 22

The DNR is holding a public meeting to discuss water quality standards in Independence at the Falcon Civic Center, 1305 Fifth Ave. NE, 4 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday, February 23

The DNR is holding a public meeting to discuss water quality standards in Washington at the

Washington Public Library (Nicholas Stoufer Room), 115 West Washington, 4 to 7 p.m.

Iowa Safe Schools is hosting a reception the night before the annual Iowa Governors Conference on LGBTQ Youth. The reception will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Baby Boomers Cafe, 303 East 5th St in Des Moines. Suggested donation: $25. To RSVP, e-mail Nate Monson:  nate AT

Our keynote for the Conference, Sarah Schulman will be our special guest.  Sarah is a well respected playwright and novelist.  Her published works include The Mere Future, Ties that Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, Enemies: A Love Story, Manic Flight Reaction, People in Trouble, Rat Bohemia, and Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America.  She was featured in a 2005 New York Times article about her career and the difficulties she has faced as an openly lesbian playwright.  

Sarah is well known for her works detailing the issues of the AIDS epidemic and the consequences of homophobia in relation to the disease.  She appeared in the 2009 OUT 100, a list of the 100 most influential openly LGBT leaders in the country.  She was featured on this list with major celebrities including Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Wanda Sykes (Comedian), and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family).  More information about the reception is below.

Thursday, February 24

From Iowa Safe Schools:

6th Annual

Iowa Governors Conference on LGBTQ Youth


February 24th, 2011  ·   Drake University Olmsted Center   ·   Registration 8:00AM-9:00AM   ·   Conference 9:00AM-4:00PM

Sponsored By

Iowa State Education Association  ·  Iowa Department of Education  ·  GLSEN  ·  JEL-Iowa  ·  Iowa Association of School Boards   ·  First Friday Breakfast Club

   Keynote by: Dr. Sarah Schulman

   Dr. Schulman is an award winning playwright and novelist.  Her published works include The Mere Future, Ties that Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, Enemies: A Love Story, Manic Flight Reaction, People in Trouble, Rat Bohemia, and Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America.

   Dr. Schulman  appeared in the 2009 OUT 100, a list of the 100 most influential LGBT leaders in the country.  She was featured on this list with major celebrities including Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Wanda Sykes (Comedian), and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family).  

   Dr. Schulman has won several awards including the Guggenheim in Playwrighting, Fullbright in Judaic Studies, Revson Fellowship for the Future of New York City at Columbia University, Stonewall Award for Contributions Improving the Lives of Lesbians and Gays in the United States, three NY Foundation for the Arts Fellowships (Fiction and Playwrighting), finalist for the Prix de Rome in Fiction, Berilla Kerr Prize in Playwrighting, two American Library Association Book Awards (Fiction and Non-fiction), Ferro-Grumley Award in Lesbian Fiction, Kessler Prize for Sustained Contribution to LGBT Studies.

   She recently co-coordinated The ACT UP Oral History Project, which is a collection of video interviews with surviving members that premiered in the fall exhibition: ACT UP New York: Activism, Art, and the AIDS Crisis.  This exhibit featured interviews with men and women of all races and classes who have transformed entrenched cultural ideas about homosexuality, sexuality, illness, health care, civil rights, art, media, and the rights of patients. They have achieved concrete changes in medical and scientific research, insurance, law, health care delivery, graphic design, and introduced new and effective methods for political organizing. These interviews reveal what has motivated them to action and how they have organized complex endeavors. The interviews can be viewed here:  http://www.actuporalhistory.or…

   Workshop Topics Include:                                  

   Sexual Assault Awareness ·  HIV 101  ·  Reproductive Health Advocacy · Ask the Doctor: For Youth Only ·  Ending Bullying in Schools Counseling Transgender Youth  ·  Big Tobacco & LGBT Community ·  Equality Through the Courts  ·  Ending Racism in LGBT Community  ·  Sexism/Gender  ·  Immigration & LGBT Community  ·  Substance Abuse Prevention         LGBT Youth Suicide Risk Prevention ·  HIV Advocacy

   Registration (Registration includes breakfast, lunch, and access to all sessions)

$35 for Adults After February 1st           $10 for Students        

   Conference Mission Statement

   The mission of the Annual Iowa Governors Conference on LGBTQ Youth is to (a) engage and educate students, educators, parents, community leaders, youth-serving professionals, policy-makers, and others concerned about issues relevant to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community, and (b) encourage networking and activism to inspire our communities to promote diversity, equality, and social justice.

   For more information go to and look under the EVENTS tab.

The Center on Sustainable Communities is hosting a social gathering to learn more about COSC at Des Moines Social Club, 1408 Locust St, 5:00-7:00 pm. Free and open to the public. Come for after-work socializing and networking with discussions, complimentary appetizers, prize drawings and a cash bar. Register online at or contact Leslie Berckes at (515) 707-2787 or

Friday, February 25

Republican state legislators are looking for business owners and local officials to tell them about supposedly burdensome government rules and regulations. It would be helpful for members of the public to attend these forums and speak up for meaningful regulation of business. Dozens of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement members attended similar forums earlier this month in Ames and Newton.

Schedule for February 25:

Sioux City   10:30 am – 12:30pm   Morningside College   1501 Morningside Ave Sioux City, IA

Council Bluffs 3 – 5pm Council Bluffs Public Library 400 Willow Ave, Council Bluffs, IA

February 25 is also the new deadline for ordering repurposed rain barrels to benefit the non-profit 1000 Friends of Iowa. Proceeds will “support the development of an educational exhibit which focuses on land use and water as it relates to run-off from non-porous surfaces as well as to bring attention to the many uses for collected rain water.” Those uses include watering gardens, washing cars and general housecleaning. Click here for more information about the rain barrels and here to order.

Ed Fallon is leading a discussion on “Raising Vegetables & Chickens in the City” at a potluck dinner to be held at a Woman’s Place in Des Moines. Limited to the first twelve RSVPs. Cost is a $5 donation to a Woman’s Place and a potluck dish to share with others. RSVP to a Woman’s Place.

Saturday, February 26

GOP state legislators are holding more meetings to bash government rules and regulations. Today’s schedule:

Cresco 9am CS Bank 111 North Elm St, Cresco

Cedar Falls, 1 pm, Hurst Center for Arts 304 W Seerley Blvd, Cedar Falls

Dubuque 5 – 7pm Best Western Conference Center 3100 Dodge St, Hwy 20 W, Dubuque

Sunday, February 27

The Iowa Farmers Union is meeting in Cambridge at White Oak Vineyards from 4:00-7:00 pm. Event includes supper and legislative updates from IFU lobbyists. The featured speaker is Francis Thicke, who ran for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture in 2010. It’s a fundraiser for IFU’s work at the Capitol and costs $30 per person. RSVP to

 2/25/2011   Sioux City   10:30 am – 12:30pm   Morningside College   1501 Morningside Ave Sioux City, IA

2/25/2011 Council Bluffs 3 – 5pm Council Bluffs Public Library 400 Willow Ave, Council Bluffs, IA

Monday, February 28

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s calendar:

Sustainable Commercial Development

Location: Greater Des Moines Partnership, 700 Locust St, Suite 100, Des Moines

Using the vacant office buildings in the Des Moines metro area as its fulcrum, this new series features guest instructors and relevant topics that address ways green building principals can pay off in terms of economic, health and environmental savings as well as contributing to a community’s overall vibrancy. Join COSC, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Downtown Community Alliance’s EcoCore Program and numerous other partners as we improve the competitive profile of Downtown Des Moines by promoting environmentally sustainable investment. See for more information.

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