Events coming up this week

Public hearings are scheduled today through Thursday in Council Bluffs, Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines to discuss the Legislative Services Agency’s redistricting proposal. Citizens will be able to listen in to some of those hearings at other locations around Iowa. Times and places are after the jump, along with details on other events taking place around the state this week.

As always, post a comment or contact me by e-mail if you know if a public event worth adding to this calendar.

Monday, April 4

From the Legislative Services Agency:

The first proposed Congressional and Legislative Redistricting Plan to be submitted to the Iowa General Assembly will be the topic of four public hearings to be held in Council Bluffs, Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines the first week of April. The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission, created pursuant to law, will hold the public hearings to receive the comments of interested citizens and representatives of political subdivisions and organizations on the plan. The plan is being prepared pursuant to law by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency, based on the 2010 Census Bureau population data, using strict nonpartisan guidelines. The plan will be released at 8:15 a.m., on Thursday, March 31, 2011, at the State Capitol.

The five members of the Commission are Chair Maggie Tinsman of Davenport, Rose Brown of Council Bluffs, Lance Ehmcke of Sioux City, Matt Paul of Des Moines, and Eric Turner of Des Moines.

The Council Bluffs public hearing will be held on Monday, April 4, 2011, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in the ICN Room at the Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Avenue. The following ICN sites will be interactive with the Council Bluffs site:

North Iowa Area Community College Room 106, Activity Center 500 College Drive Mason City

Northwest Area Education Agency Room 206 1520 Morningside Avenue Sioux City

Spencer Public Library 21 East Third Street Spencer

Oral presentations will be limited to three minutes for each presenter. It is not required that those requesting to speak register in advance of the hearing, but those registering to speak at the hearing location will be called upon to speak after those who registered prior to the hearing. If time remains after all who have registered to speak have spoken, the Commission may hear additional remarks from those who have already spoken and from those who did not register prior to the hearing but wish to speak.

Any individual wishing to make comments about the proposed plan at a hearing may contact the Legislative Information Office at (515) 281-5129 and the individual will be listed as a speaker at the hearing requested in the order that the request is received. Those requesting to make comments from an ICN site will be listed in order for that particular ICN site. It is not required that speakers provide written copies of their testimony, but written copies of testimony will be accepted and will be made available to Commission members.

The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission will accept written testimony in lieu of oral presentations either by ordinary mail or by electronic mail if the written testimony is received on or prior to April 7, 2011, by the Legislative Services Agency. Any written testimony must include the name and address of the author.

Contact: Craig Cronbaugh Legislative Information Office

515-281-5129 craig.cronbaugh AT legis.state.ia.us

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s calendar:

MRAPS Public Draft Scoping Report Meeting

Location: 2700 Sylvan Road, Nebraska City, NE

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold a public meeting to collect feedback on the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study (MRAPS) Draft Scoping Summary Report. The Corps received comments on the scope of MRAPS last year. Those comments have been addressed in this draft report. Congress directed the Corps to study the Missouri River projects and review the original purposes in the 1944 Flood Control Act to determine if changes are warranted. The eight original purposes are flood control, hydropower, water supply, irrigation, navigation, recreation, water quality, and fish and wildlife. The public meeting will run from 5 to 7 p.m. with a Corps presentation from 5 to 6 p.m. The second hour will be a public speaker feedback period on the Draft Scoping Summary Report. Go to http://www.mraps.org/ for more information.

The Iowa AFL-CIO is organizing another pro-labor solidarity rally:

April 4th – We Are One – Respect Our Rights!

Defend the Dream

Iowa State Capitol West Steps

5:30pm – 6:30pm

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in

Memphis, where he was supporting sanitation workers demanding their dream: The right to bargain collectively for a voice at work and a better life. Today, that same demand is electrifying people across America. It’s the demand of all people–black, white, Latino and Asian American: The right to join together for our common dreams.

Join us at the Iowa State Capitol April 4, 2011, to STAND IN

SOLIDARITY with working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana

across this nation where well-funded, right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights Dr. King gave his life for. It’s a time to show: WE ARE ONE.

Tuesday, April 5

The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission will hold a public hearing in Bettendorf to discuss the new proposed map of Iowa political boundaries. The hearing is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, 729 21st Street.

Iowa General Assembly: www.legis.state.ia.us

From Trees Forever:

The Coalition for Iowa’s Woodlands and Trees and Trees Forever is hosting a press conference and rally at 8:30 a.m. at the Iowa State Capitol to release the results of a recent survey of Iowa’s communities. If weather permits, the press conference will be held outside near the West steps of the Capitol; if indoors, look for us in the rotunda.

Speakers will include: Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm of Cresco and Representative Bob Hager of Dorcester; representing Trees Forever and Iowa communities, Margo Underwood (Clear Lake) and Brent Oleson (Marion and Linn County). The press conference and rally will be over by 9:30, allowing plenty of time for those attending the Tree City Banquet to arrive by 10 o’clock.

We hope you will attend. Regardless please speak with your Iowa Senators and Representatives about the need for an additional one million dollars in funding for Iowa’s trees and forests. Thanks to Senators Mary Jo Wilhelm and Dennis Black for leading efforts in the Senate!

Please share this important information when you speak to your legislators:

   * Communities’ top concerns and needs are:

   *   Dealing with devastation from the Emerald Ash Borer

   *   Other tree diseases

   *   Funding and technical assistance

   *   Insect and pest threats

   *   Sustaining local forestry efforts

   *  Recruiting more volunteers

   * The total price tag for Iowa’s communities could be as high as $2.5 Billion Dollars

   *  Hunting, fishing, tourism, and wildlife viewing contributes an estimated $923,000,000 to Iowa’s economy.  Iowa’s forest resource provides a critical backdrop for these activities and habitat for valued wildlife species. Many of my communities depend upon tourism directly related to our beautiful woodlands.

   * Iowa’s wood products industry employs almost 18,000 people with an annual payroll of $913,000,000

   * Iowa’s wood products industry generates $3.94 billion in annual sales

   * Iowa landowners received 25 million dollars in 2008 from the sale of timber.

   * Total estimated value of woodlands and wood-based industry to Iowa’s economy is $5.8 billion annually.  

If you have questions, please contact Mark Signs at msigns@treesforever.org or 319-373-0650 x20.

Wednesday, April 6

The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission will hold a public hearing in Cedar Rapids to discuss the new proposed map of Iowa political boundaries.

The Cedar Rapids public hearing will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in the ICN Room at Kirkwood Community College, 104 Washington Hall, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW. The following ICN sites will be interactive with the Cedar Rapids site:

Dubuque Downtown – Northeast Iowa Community College

700 Main Street, Dubuque

Great Prairie Area Education Agency 2814 North Court Street Ottumwa

Hawkeye Community College 1501 East Orange Road Waterloo

From Ed Fallon’s calendar of events:

April 6 – CCI Meeting with new DNR director (Iowa Falls)

In January, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement secured a commitment from Roger Lande, the new director of the DNR, to meet with rural Iowans adversely affected by factory farms. Come to the Public Library, 921 Washington Ave, 1:00-4:30 pm. Contact Matt Denner at(515) 255-0800 or matt@iowacci.org.

Thursday, April 7

The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission will hold a public hearing in Des Moines from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the Wallace State Office Building Auditorium, 502 E. 9th St.

Saturday, April 9

Iowa Interfaith Power and Light is organizing a “Cool Congregations Workshop” at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 6th and Sycamore in Muscatine.

People of faith across Iowa are caring for God’s creation by solving climate change in their own homes and saving money in the process. The Cool Congregations earth stewardship program will provide you with the tools you need to make a difference in your home, congregation, and community.

During the three hour workshop, participants will learn about the ABC’s of climate change and the religious response; how to measure your carbon footprint and ideas for reducing it; and how to organize a Cool Congregations program in your local faith community.

The training includes a Cool Congregations manual, resource CD, and a Carbon Calculator designed specifically for Iowa.

For more information and to register:

http://iowaipl.org/cc_calendar…

From Ed Fallon’s event calendar:

April 9 – Understanding our Muslim Brothers & Sisters (Waterloo)

Methodist Federation for Social Action’s regional gathering will feature Dr. Mohammed Fahmy. It’s at Jubilee Center, 1621 E 4th St at 10:00 am. Contact Eloise Cranke at ecranke@mchsi.com.

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