Events coming up this week

Send me an e-mail or post a comment if you’d like me to add any events to this calendar.

Sunday, August 31:

Representative Bruce Braley will attend the Clinton Labor Congress Labor Day Picnic at 1:00pm in Eagle Point Park, Clinton.

Donate to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee by midnight and have your contribution matched dollar-for-dollar by an unnamed group of senators.

Monday, September 1:

Bruce Braley will walk in the Dubuque Labor Day Parade, beginning at 9:30 am in downtown Dubuque.

Democratic candidate for Congress Rob Hubler will be at the Sioux City Labor Picnic. For details, contact the Hubler campaign office in Sioux City at 712-258-9069.

Democratic candidate for Congress Becky Greenwald will be at the North Iowa Nine Labor Council Picnic from 12pm to 1pm. For details, call the Greenwald campaign at 515-537-4465.

Former Governor Tom Vilsack will attend the gathering following the Keokuk Labor Day Parade on behalf of the Obama campaign.  Governor Vilsack will meet with Iowans at 11:30 am at the Labor Temple, 301 Blondeau St in Keokuk, to discuss Senator Obama’s record of standing up for America’s workers and his plans to help working families.  

Polk County Democrats are still looking for volunteers and parade walkers for the Solidarity Fest:

The parade begins line-up at the State Capitol at 8am and the parade begins at 11am.  The route takes us from the Capitol to the 4-H Building at the State Fairgrounds.   Volunteers should arrive by 10:30am to find us in the line-up.  It is not numbered, but first come, first in line so allow yourself a little time.  To join us, please call Tamyra at 515-285-1800.

The Fest at the 4-H Building begins at 12pm .  Extreme Games form 12p – 2p. Campbell ‘s Concessions will offer hot dogs and chips for $2.00 and Hamburgers and chips for $2.50.  Free kids games and water.

The Polk County Democrats’ booth will be manned from 12p til the event is over between 2p and 3p.

If you are available to help out at the booth, please contact Tamyra at 515-285-1800

Tuesday, September 2:

Parents and parents-to-be may want to check out the cloth diaper and baby carrier “garage sale” organized by the Des Moines “cloth diaper crowd” that meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 am at the Vineyard Church, 36th and University in Des Moines. This is a great place to find very affordable cloth diapers and baby carriers in good condition. If you don’t want to buy used, you can still come to the group to learn about the different types of cloth diapers and covers available.

Dave Loebsack is holding a fundraiser for Gretche Lawyer from 5:30 to 7:00 at the Lowe Park Arts and Environment Center at 4500 10th Street in Marion.  Lawyer is running for the Iowa House for the seat formerly held by Swati Dandekar.

A fundraiser for Representative candidate Susan Radke, County Supervisor Wayne Clinton and Sheriff Fitzgerald will be held at the Swinging Bridges Studio in Story City from 5:30-7:00.

From the Center on Sustainable Communities:

Greensburg/Parkersburg Community Forum on Lessons Learned

September 2, Des Moines

Two communities who have begun their rebuilding efforts in two different ways will be in Des Moines, Tuesday, September 2nd from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Des Moines Downtown Public Library. Sharing their stories of challenges and success will be architect Stephen Hardy, one of the leaders of the rebuilding efforts in Greensburg, followed by comments from Greensburg Mayor Bob Dixson, and Parkersburg Mayor Bob Haylock, Economic Development Director Virgil Goodrich and City Planner Don Temeyer. We invite you to attend this free public event to hear their stories and share questions regarding their continuing challenges and successes. For more information visit  RSVP to


Thanks to corncam, who alerted me about a forum for Iowa City School Board candidates on Tuesday, Sept. 2nd, from 7-9PM at the district’s central office at 509 S. Dubuque St.  Four candidates are running for three seats: incumbents Patti Fields and Toni Cilek, and challengers Michael Shaw and Richard Tiegs.  

Wednesday, September 3:

The Des Moines school board election is on Tuesday, September 9. A public forum for hearing more about the candidates will be held on September 3 at 7:00 pm in the auditorium at Central Campus (old Tech High School site in Des Moines). Sponsored by Interfaith

Alliance, League of Women Voters and city PTA. All eight candidates will be present to answer questions submitted by audience members. Audience members should not wear candidate’s promotional attire such as t-shirts, hats, etc. (buttons are allowed).  No signs, banners, charts, displays, or demonstrations of any kind will be allowed. Parking is available across the street, a block west of Central, and in the rear of the building (including the ramp behind the Wallace-Homestead Building ).  Entry into the building is only through the front main doors. For more information, call (515) 279-8715.

From the Iowa Environmental Council’s newsletter:

Science Café to explore the extremes of Iowa flooding and rainfall

September 3, Ames

Join the discussion from 7-9 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 3, in the Skybox at Legends American Grill at 200 Stanton Ave. in Ames. It won’t be a science class. It won’t be a lecture. But there are sure to be some lessons learned about the Iowa floods of 2008. The Iowa State University chapter of Sigma Xi — an international, multidisciplinary scientific research society — will co-sponsor a “Science Café” featuring Iowa State faculty members sharing their perspectives and answering questions on the theme, “Extreme Water and Weather in Iowa.” The café presentations will facilitate discussion about this summer’s flooding in Iowa. There will also be explanations of the science of flood prediction plus talk of how climate change and land use may affect flooding now and in the future. It is free and open to the public. For more information, go to…

Submitted by William Simpkins

Thursday, September 4:

Congressman Leonard Boswell and the Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus are welcoming Congressman Ike Skelton of Missouri. He will be at the Baby Boomers Restaurant, 313 E Locust in Des Moines, from 9:00 – 10:00 am.

There’s another forum for Des Moines school board candidates. This one is at 7:00 pm at First Christian Church, 25th & University in Des Moines. (sponsored by AMOS)

Lovers of birds and natural habitat may want to attend the Audubon Society fundraiser:

Iowa Audubon is pleased to announce that Brad Jacobs, distinguished ornithologist with the Missouri Dept. of Conservation, will be the guest speaker at this year’s Audubon Pelican Gala fundraiser, Thursday evening, Sept. 4.  The topic of Brad’s presentation will be, “Connecting the Midwest with Latin America’s Birds”.  For further information and reservation form, go to… . Please join Iowa Audubon for an evening of pelican viewing from the deck of Jester Park Lodge on Saylorville Lake, conversations with fellow birders, expanded hors d’oeuvers, homemade desserts, silent auction and this special program by Brad Jacobs.  Proceeds from the event will further Iowa Audubon’s bird conservation efforts in Iowa and beyond.

Richard Leopold, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, is holding a public forum  on Thursday, September 4 at Viking Lake State Park in Stanton. “I’m looking forward to sharing some of the important initiatives underway within the department, but more importantly, I really want to hear from Iowa’s citizens. One thing I am particularly proud of is the rapport that the DNR

has with the public. This is a relationship we value highly within the DNR,” said Leopold. The public forum begins at 6 p.m. with Director Leopold outlining the department’s top 10 priorities, work being done to develop environmental indicators for the state, providing an update on sustainable funding for natural resources and discussion of local issues. Another hour-and-a-half will be devoted to answering questions from the public.

Friday, September 5:

It’s the first day of the Fall Festival and Bulb Mart, which runs September 5-7 and 12-14 at the Botanical Center of Des Moines. The Friends of the Botanical Center is sponsoring the Fall Festival and Bulb Mart to celebrate the harvest with fun and informative weekends for the whole family. The Bulb Mart will include over 26,000 individual bulbs for sale-many deer resistant. Speakers include Amy Goldman, a self-proclaimed “vegetable rights activist” and David Howard, recently retired as the head gardener at Highgrove House, the private residence of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in Gloucestershire, England. Justin Roberts and The Not Ready for Naptime Players will perform a free concert September 7.  For more information, go to

For those interested in brewing your own biodiesel:

Open Shop/ Biodiesel Brew Day

September 5, Guernsey

We will have an informal open shop on Friday, from 10 a.m. to noon, for people interested in seeing the progress of our system. This is not a formal class, but you will get a chance to see the process. Call or email Rich for details and directions to Catnip Farm (near Guernsey). Seating is limited. Rich Dana – 319.530.6051 Sponsored by the Imagine Grinnell Energy Program


Submitted by Rich Dana

Saturday, September 6:

Great opportunities to explore central Iowa’s natural areas:

Hartley Heritage Fen Tour

September 6, Jasper County

Beginning at 9:00 a.m., join us for tours of this fen in Jasper County, North of Mitchellville about 6.5 miles. Expect to see this 6.5-acre fen, a rare type of wetland, in full bloom. It’s home to unusual species, such as turtlehead, flat-topped aster and Riddell’s goldenrod, along with birds, butterflies and more. View restoration progress of the additional 26.5 acres of prairie and wetlands. Rain or shine. Dress for the weather and wet conditions at the site. For more information, including maps and directions, see… .

Submitted by Lynn Laws

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Iowa River Wildlife Area Tour

September 6, Marshalltown area

Join us at 10:00 a.m., north of Marshalltown about 1.5 miles to tour this special place. It contains 485 acres of prairie, wetlands and mature forest, with 1.5 miles protected shoreline on the Iowa River. A wagon tour of the area will be offered, weather and ground conditions permitting. Parking is limited. To carpool, meet at 9:40 a.m. on the south side of the Marshall County Courthouse. In case of heavy rain, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation dedication will be at the Nature Center at Grimes Farm, 2349 23rd St., Marshalltown. For more information, including maps and directions, see…

Submitted by Lynn Laws

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Rosie Medici, Michele & Chris Mahlstadt and Connie Craig are hosting a hog roast fundraiser for John Scarpino, Candidate for Polk County Supervisor in District 2. The event will take place from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at the VFW Lodge, 1309 NW 66th Ave in Des Moines. Cost $8.00 per person

Sunday, September 7:

Parents and grandparents of children under 10, mark your calendars: Des Moines native and nationally-renowned children’s musician will play a free concert at 3:00 pm at the Botanical Center. Although there is no charge for admission, you may want to bring money so you can buy his great albums afterwards!

Another good event for bird-lovers:

Pelican Festival

September 7, Polk County

“Play local” is the theme for the 2008 Pelican Festival, held from 1-6 p.m., at Jester Park Lodge. See and learn about the American white pelican and where and how you can recreate locally. In addition to wildlife viewing, activities for all ages will educate participants about pelicans, waterfowl, osprey, and their amazing migrations. Public education programs will take place all day on the half hour. Youth activities and refreshments will be on-site. There will be water available and a small concession stand. Please dress for the conditions – wear sunscreen, hats, etc. For a map to the park, go to http://www.conservationboard.o…

Submitted by Jane Clark and Kami Rankin

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