# LaVon Griffieon

Weekend open thread: Iowans who should run for governor edition

The cover story in Cityview this week is the awkwardly-headlined “25 people not running for governor (but should)”. The list includes former Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson, who would be outstanding, and activist LaVon Griffieon, a friend who has inspired me. I don’t agree with all the names on Cityview’s list, but the whole point of a feature like that is to provoke discussions and arguments. So, Bleeding Heartland readers, who should be running for governor of Iowa, and what do you think of the list Cityview compiled?

This thread is for anything that’s on your mind this weekend. I am horrified by the plane crash that wiped out so many influential past and present citizens of Poland. If you’re wondering why the Polish elite were flying on a Soviet aircraft, apparently it was faster than the planes other countries use for similar purposes.

Many prominent Iowa Republicans and candidates are attending Representative Steve King’s “Defenders of Freedom” dinner, featuring Representative Michele Bachmann. King grabbed the blogosphere’s attention this week by slamming the Humane Society as “vegetarians with an agenda.”

I’ve been reading some clips on the Southern Republican Leadership Conference this weekend. Although the event is in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina was very much off the radar. Sarah Palin electrified the crowd yesterday, but the presidential straw poll ended up nearly tied between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. I was amused to read this snapshot of Republican family values:

just overheard a mom tell her young daughter at #SRLC, “No, we don’t support Medicaid. Medicaid is for losers.”

At Drake University today, counter-protesters outnumbered the members of Fred Phelps’ clan “church.” I still lean toward not elevating the importance of those freaks by generating more media coverage of their rallies. Ignoring them seemed to work fine for the Des Moines area Jewish community last year.

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Events coming up this week

It’s been a week since same-sex marriage became legal in Iowa, and I’m happy to report that my hetero marriage has not yet collapsed under the strain of sharing rights with gays and lesbians.

Click “there’s more” to read about events coming up this week. As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of something I’ve left out.

Advance warning: May 11-15 is Bike to Work week.

Registration is FREE. Over 500 Bike to Work Socks have been ordered from the Sock Guy. This year’s socks are green. Socks will be available at events throughout the week on a first come, first serve basis. (One pair per pre-registered rider.) Everyone who registers and takes the pledge is eligible for $1,000 in Bike Bucks for use in any sponsoring bike shop and many other prizes! Registration closes at Noon on Thursday May 14th. Questions? Check out Bike to Work Week events and businesses around Iowa at www.bikeiowa.com.

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Mother's Day links and open thread

Here are some links for you to enjoy on Mother’s Day.

If you are a mother with children of any age, chances are you will find articles worth reading at Mothering magazine’s site, or discussion forums on topics that interest you at Mothering.com.

If you are a new mother, you can find valuable information and support at the websites of Attachment Parenting International and La Leche League.

AskDrSears.com has good information on medical and parenting topics, relating to older children as well as babies and toddlers.

I also want to pay tribute to LaVon Griffieon, a friend who has inspired me by balancing her passion for making the world a better place with running a farm and bringing up four children.

The Griffieons are being profiled in a series of reports on National Public Radio: here is a link.

LaVon won the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation’s Hagie Heritage Award in 2000. Read why here.

Drake University and the alternative weekly Cityview gave LaVon the Central Iowa Activist Award for Environmental Activism in 2004.

Marc Hansen recently profiled LaVon in the Des Moines Register.

This amazing woman even figured out that she could save time by roasting a Thanksgiving turkey in the back of her minivan while driving to a relative’s home. Unfortunately, I can’t link to the article which told this story last November, because the Des Moines Register does not make its archives available for free.

If you know a particularly inspiring mother, tell her you admire her and why.

If Mother’s Day is painful for you, either because your mother didn’t provide the childhood you would have wanted, or because you are the parent of a child who has died, I recommend this diary Cronesense posted at Daily Kos last year: Mother’s Day – the other side of the coin.

UPDATE: Frankenoid’s diary, Mother’s Day in the Land of the Bereaved, is also very moving.