Events coming up this weekend and next week

Please post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT if you know of some event I’ve left out.

Friday, January 30:

Congressman Bruce Braley is holding a town hall meeting on the economic stimulus at 10:00 am at the Grand River Center (meeting rooms 2 and 3), 500 Bell Street in Dubuque. Braley’s town hall meetings on the economy are free and open to the public.  Attendees are encouraged to RSVP at

From Polk County Democrats:

The Ankeny Area Democrats and The Polk County Democrats Present An Inauguration Celebration Dinner At The Iowa State Historical Building

with special guest Congressman Leonard Boswell and State Affirmative Action Chair Shenica Graham will sing a tribute song she wrote for President Obama, “I Believe.”

Special presentation of appreciation for 2008 candidates: Nita Garvin, Dr. Alan Koslow, Matt Pfaltzgraf, John Scarpino, Richard Sosalla, Jerry Sullivan

Friday, January 30, 2009

Catered by Baratta’s Restaurant

Social Hour begins at 6:00 PM

Dinner at 7:00 PM

Live music through the Musician’s Union

Tickets $25 per person

Tickets include chicken / pasta dinner and sides, soft drinks, coffee, iced tea or water

Semi-formal attire encouraged, but not required

Please bring a food item for the Des Moines Area Religious Council to be distributed to the local food pantries.

Tickets available by calling Tamyra at 515-285-1800 or Mary Oliver at 515-964-1227

Email or

Saturday, January 31:

From Iowa Rivers Revival:

IRR is developing a River Stewards Program to address concerns about the public’s general disconnect from rivers.  We have conducted a couple of brainstorming sessions in recent months and have envisioned River Rascals, a river steward program that will offer opportunities for youth to learn more about the importance of rivers and problems associated with them.  We want to engage educators and anyone interested to help develop and implement a program for youth that focuses on river appreciation, recreation and stewardship. We invite you to the upcoming planning session to help make the vision a reality!

River Rascal Program Planning Session

Saturday, January 31, 2009, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Polk County Conservation Board’s Jester Park Lodge, 11407 NW Jester Park Drive, Granger, IA

Agenda: Provide ideas and feedback on draft program details, including curriculum, educators/presenters/partners/mentors, potential participants, venue options, and funding options

No cost (pizza and beverages will be brought in – small cash contribution welcome)

RSVP: or 515-202-7720

Tuesday, February 3:

Ed Fallon will discuss civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples on Jan Mickelson’s radio show. Mickelson is a local Rush Limbaugh clone, and I’M for Iowa is encouraging supporters of marriage equality to listen and call in. The show runs from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. on WHO Radio (1040 AM), and you can participate by calling (515) 284-1040.

One Iowa is organizing a forum on marriage equality at 7:00 pm in the Veteran’s Memorial Building, 834 Broad St. in Grinnell.

Wednesday, February 4:

From Iowa Rivers Revival:

Iowa Rivers Revival invites you to join us for a legislative reception to engage Iowa legislators about the importance of our rivers and how they provide many economic, environmental and recreational resources for our state.  Come and share your river experiences. […]  

Our first reception held in January 2008 was a great success – over 50 supporters, including bi-partisan representation from at least 15 Iowa legislators, attended the last-minute event.  This reception provides an opportunity for Iowa’s political leaders to recognize that rivers have representation and an increasing base of support advocating on their behalf.  The purpose of this reception is to raise awareness and to continue having conversations about the issues concerning Iowa’s rivers and our connections to rivers.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Noodle Zoo Café

E 6th & Locust, Des Moines

4:30 – 6:30 PM

No cost


From the Iowa Environmental Council:

The Iowa Recycling Association is sponsoring an Educators Conference on February 4, from 9:00am to 3:00pm, at Plymouth Church, 4126 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. Topics and Speakers include “Green Streets”:  Jeff Geerts, Iowa Department of Economic Development; “Marketing Programs on a Budget”:  Mark Signs, Trees Forever; “Character Counts”:  Eric Martin, Character Counts; “Partnerships for Effective Education”:  Mary Gillespey, Darven Kendell, Bev Wagner. Pre-registration is required. Registration fee is $30 before January 1, 2009 and $40 after January 1. A waste free lunch will be provided. Register online at… and send payment to: Iowa Recycling Association,  PO Box 10954, Cedar Rapids, IA  52410. For more information contact: Bev Wagner, or 563-588-7933.

Friday, February 6:

The Iowa Network for Community Agriculture is holding its 14th Annual Local Food Conference on February 6-7 in Clear Lake. The conference is an opportunity to connect the local food “dots” in North Iowa, expand your local food knowledge with dynamic workshops, and celebrate the capacity to sustain ourselves and our communities. Come meet and eat with other local food enthusiasts. Full conference information at

There will also be a “slow food fundraiser” for INCA in the evening:


FRIDAY, FEB. 6, STARTS at 5:30pm

LAKE COFFEE HOUSE – HWY. 122 (old hwy. 18), CLEAR LAKE, IA (next to Subway – please call if you need directions)

COST: $20


Two wine tastings

Fabulous Iowa-produced appetizers

Great Iowa-produced (and locally-made) soup

and… a Fabulous Iowa chef, author and Slow Food Extraordinaire – Chef Kurt Michael Friese

Additional tickets available at event:

Ticket for one glass of wine – $5

Ticket for 3 extra tastings – $5

Event begins at 5:30 with wine and appetizers.

At 6:30 we’ll hear more from our special guest, Kurt Michael Friese, who will share with us his journeys as chef and owner of local food restaurant icon, Devotay, in Iowa City.  Kurt will also read from his new book with us, A Cook’s Journey – Slow Food in the Heartland, published last August.  Kurt serves on the Board of Directors for Slow Food USA. We are excited to have Kurt join us for this weekend event.

To get tickets and information for Friday’s fundraiser, please contact:

Lisa Stokke


Send check made out to “SLOW FOOD CLEAR LAKE” to:

Lisa Stokke 909 2nd Ave. S., Clear Lake, Iowa  50428

From the Iowa Environmental Council:

Savanna Workshops for Teachers and Naturalists

Join us for the workshop: Iowa’s Roadside Native Communities: Savanna, on Feb. 6-8, 2009 and Apr.24-25, 2009 at Baymont Inn, Coralville, IA. Learn how to help your students explore and improve Iowa Prairies/Savanna. For primary through Community College teachers and naturalists. Participants receive 2 UNI graduate credits, materials, meals and housing for only $180 due to grants. For more information please visit Request a paper brochure at, or call 319-273-2783.

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Alan Koslow for House district 60

Republican Libby Jacobs is retiring from the Iowa House this year, and Dr. Alan Koslow is the Democratic candidate to replace her in House district 60, which encompasses most of West Des Moines. The Republican candidate for that seat is Peter Cownie.

I ran into Dr. Koslow at an event on Sunday, and he gave me the postcard-sized case for his candidacy that he has been handing out at farmers’ markets and other public events. Both sides have small photos of Koslow, along with the following text (the words in bold are in purple ink on the cards). The front side of the card reads:



Dr. Alan


Democrat for State Representative

HEALTH CARE is the most urgent issue facing Iowans. Who is more qualified to help craft that policy?

[empty box] a mouthpiece for special interests

[checked box] a board-certified vascular surgeon who understands this crucial issue inside and out

DR. ALAN KOSLOW has outlined detailed plans that will:

-cover all Iowans with affordable comprehensive health insurance at no cost to taxpayers

-work toward a dignified lifestyle and retirement for every Iowan

-set the pace for sustainable growth

The back side of the postcard reads:


a progressive realist

who believes in

politics by partnership,

not partisanship.

In addition to being a board-certified vascular surgeon, DR. ALAN KOSLOW has worked hard for Iowans:

-Proposed the initial draft of the Healthy Kids legislation

-Conceived of the Farm to School legislation

-Served on Governor’s Task Force for Early Childhood Care

Working together, we can make Iowa healthy, green, and clean.




I encourage you to check out Koslow’s website and support his campaign with a donation or some volunteer time if you are able to do so. Many suburban precincts that used to be solid Republican are trending more Democratic with each election cycle. Also, I suspect that Barack Obama will have significant coattails in West Des Moines, where he convincingly won most of the precincts in the Iowa caucuses.

UPDATE: The Des Moines Register discussed the race for House district 60 here. The district leans Republican, and Democrats have not fielded a candidate against Libby Jacobs since 1994.

Excerpt from the Register’s sidebar on Alan Koslow:

CAMPAIGN CONTACT INFO: 2716 Jordan Grove, West Des Moines, IA 50265; (515) 267-1821; www.koslowforiowas, koslow@koslow

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Served on more than 30 local boards and committees, including for the Blank Park Zoo, Civic Music Association, Art Center of Greater Des Moines and Tifereth Israel Synagogue. Participated in medical rescue missions to El Salvador and Israel. Served as president or chairman of Central Iowa chapter of the American Diabetes Association, 2006-2008, and the Iowa Chapter of the March of Dimes, 1999-2002.

CANDIDATE PRIORITIES: Health insurance for Iowa’s uninsured; clean up Iowa’s groundwater by eliminating hog-lot pollution; dignity for seniors, including eliminating elder abuse in assisted-care facilities and making it financially easier for seniors to live in Iowa with respect; creating an atmosphere to keep our young people in Iowa.


Q: The District 60 seat hasn’t been contested often in the last few decades. Why do you think there are so many candidates this time?

A: Like millions of other Americans, Iowans are hungry for a change in a politics. This is why so many people turned out for the caucuses last winter. We demand real solutions to real challenges. We demand an end to government by “gotcha.” We demand public servants who put aside party differences and dogma to work for a common good. We demand an end to the divisive wedge issues that sap our will to address real challenges that demand clear-cut, workable solutions.

Q: What unique perspective would you bring to the Legislature?

A: As I mentioned, my campaign slogan is, “Is there a doctor in the House?” There is not. Besides health care for the uninsured, the General Assembly will be debating many bills in the next session that will impact Iowans’ health. While there are many well-qualified Iowa House members to debate some of these issues, only a physician can provide the unique firsthand combined knowledge of treatment, preventive care, prescription drugs, the insurance system and many other factors.

Q: What are the biggest issues that Iowans face right now?

A: Health insurance for Iowa’s uninsured; clean up Iowa’s groundwater by eliminating hog-lot pollution; dignity for seniors, including eliminating elder abuse in assisted-care facilities and making it financially easier for seniors to live in Iowa with respect; creating an atmosphere to keep our young people in Iowa.


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