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School Board "Shops Local" PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ed Fallon   
Monday, 11 March 2013 12:07
Dear Friends,

{First, a brief update: The Great March for Climate Action is off and running . . . okay, walking. Please "like" our Facebook Page, and keep abreast of new developments as they occur . . . there's at least one newsworthy item to share each day.}

A big "CONGRATULATIONS!" to Tom Ahart for being selected as the next superintendent of the Des Moines Public Schools. A "rose" to four of seven School Board members for "shopping local" and going with a known quantity who's already proven himself. A "thistle" to the entire board for cloaking the process in secrecy.

Not that secrecy is uncommon in government anymore. Officials at all levels are acting with greater disregard for public input and observation. This is not a good thing for those of us partial to democracy, freedom and an open society.

Monday, Des Moines attorney Alfredo Parrish discusses racial disparity in Iowa's prisons. And yeah, it's bad. Read Alfredo's recent opinion piece in the Des Moines Register for a primer on just how bad - and why. Also today, we discuss several aspects of the climate crisis, including the linchpin upon which all eyes rest: the Keystone Pipeline. We also talk about Tom Ahart's selection as Des Moines Public Schools' new superintendent, and the issue of government secrecy.

Tuesday, I'm still hammering out the details, but we start the conversation with Guns, God, and Gays. That should bring my right-wing audience out of the woodwork.

Wednesday, Charlie Bruner, executive director of Iowa Family and Policy Center, and Anne Kinzel, former coordinator of Iowa Legislative Health Care Coverage Commission, discuss Medicaid and IowaCare. With the issue front and center at the Statehouse, and with Governor Branstad digging in his heels against expanding Medicaid, this is an important conversation. Check out Charlie's recent opinion piece here and Anne's here.

Thursday, State Rep Dan Kelley provides us our weekly inside look at the Iowa Statehouse. And Nakisha Phillips charts her journey through pregnancy with a doula and a midwife.

Friday, Aaron Todd discusses the tremendous progress made on revitalizing one of Des Moines most blighted corridors: Sixth Avenue. Also, Heather Ryan joins us for another weekly feature: "Ryan's Rants."

So, Monday-Friday, join the conversation online from 12:00-1:00 pm on the Fallon Forum website. Call-in at 244-0077 or toll free (855) 244-0077 and add your voice to the dialogue. If you miss a show, video and audio-only podcasts are available later in the day. Thanks!

EdCommunity CPA


March 11 - Public Talk on Reiki (West Des Moines)
Free introductory conversation about Reiki with practitioner Diane Sweet, at the West Des Moines Public Library, 7:00-8:00 p.m. Free and open to the public. Contact Dustin at (515) 333-7891 or

March 13 - Max Wellman & His String Quartet (Des Moines)
Max Wellman, in conjunction with Civic Music Association’s Backstage Social Group, presents an evening of jazz and standards brought to you by a classically-trained string quartet. Max and Sam Wells perform the art songs by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and others through a classical medium. It’s at the Fourth Street Theater, 214 4th St. at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $10. Contact Max at (515) 490-5497 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

March 14 - Drinking Liberally (Des Moines)
You don't have to be a card-carrying liberal to enjoy political conversation and excellent libations at AJ's, 419 E Court starting at 8:00 pm every Thursday. If the revolution is going to start anyplace, it's over a frosty libation. Contact

March 15-17 - Reiki First Degree (Des Moines)
Two-day Reiki training session. Cost is $150. Contact Dustin at (515) 333-7891 or

March 23 - Max Wellman and His Big Band (Des Moines)
At Hoyt Sherman Place, 15th and Woodland, 8:00 pm. Enjoy an evening of arrangements by Des Moines trumpeter/composer Dave Rezek. The band is made up of several of Des Moines’ finest up-and-coming jazz musicians, including several members of the popular Uplift Quintet. Tina Haase Findlay of Bella Soul will also perform. Tickets are $20. Contact Max at (515) 490-5497 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

March 24 - Ecumenical Processional for Peace (Des Moines)
Processional begins at 3:00 on the west steps of the State Capitol and ends at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 815 High Street for a 3:45 service. This year's event commemorates the anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Contact Chet Guinn at (515) 282-8054 or Eloise Cranke at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

March 27 – An Evening with Rachel Reynolds (Des Moines)
Rachel Reynolds, a local nursing instructor and human rights advocate, speaks about human rights, her experience with child soldiers in Uganda, and her impressions of the “Lord’s Resistance Army.” The event is sponsored by Amnesty International at Des Moines Valley Friends Meeting House, lower level, 4211 Grand Ave. Everyone is welcome and refreshments will be served. Contact Mike at (515) 238-1782 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

March 28 - Equal Justice After Hours (Des Moines)
Annual fundraising event supporting Iowa Legal Aid and its work to provide access to justice for low-income Iowans. At Temple for Performing Arts, 1011 Locust St, program includes remarks by Georgetown University law professor Peter Edelman and induction of Robert C. Oberbillig into the Iowa Legal Aid Hall of Fame. Reception at 5:30 pm, program at 6:30. Tickets are $50, or $150 to be a sponsor (sponsors may attend a special reception with Mr. Edelman from 5:00-6:30). Contact Terri Bennett at (515) 243-2980 (x1611) or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

March 28 - Green Drinks (Des Moines)
Join excellent conversation about energy and the environment over food and drink at Gateway Market and Cafe, 2002 Woodland Ave from 5:30-7:30 pm. For more details, see

Iowa Local government officials agree: It’s time for property tax reform PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Monday, 11 March 2013 12:01

(DES MOINES) – Local elected officials joined Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds at their weekly news conference this morning to express their support for the administration’s property tax reform plan.

The officials note that the plan does not come at the expense of Iowa’s local governments.

“If we do nothing, those hardworking Iowa taxpayers will face a two billion dollar tax increase over the next eight years, with half that increase falling directly on Iowa homeowners,” said Reynolds, a former local elected official who served as the Clarke County treasurer. “I want to thank these local government officials who recognize our plan is an investment in Iowa’s families and small businesses.”

Branstad noted that his plan is needed for job creation in Iowa, citing conversations he’s had in all of Iowa’s 99 counties each year.

“These officials know the important roles local government plays but also know that our property tax system is making Iowa uncompetitive and costing our state jobs,” said Branstad. “We have been clear since introducing our reform efforts that any property tax reform must be permanent and all classes of property must benefit. This year, there is one key difference to our proposal: we fully backfill the revenue local governments will lose due to the tax cut.”

When fully implemented, the governor and lieutenant governor’s reform plan would reduce property taxes by $400 million. Iowa’s commercial property taxes are currently the third-highest in the nation, and for years making it difficult to attract and retain jobs in Iowa.

The growing list of local officials supporting the administration’s property tax plan is as follows:

1.      Chad Airhart, Dallas County Recorder

2.      Kim Chapman, Dallas County Supervisor

3.      Creighton Cox, Urbandale City Council

4.      Jeremy Davis, Ames City Council

5.      Dave Drew, Woodbury County Sheriff

6.      John Etheredge, Johnson County Supervisor-Elect

7.      Brad Gaul, Cedar County Supervisor

8.      Jarret Heil, Marshall County Treasurer

9.      Harold Higman, Mayor of Akron

10.  Don Kass, Plymouth County Supervisor

11.  Jeff Kaufmann, Cedar County Supervisor

12.  Dick Kirchoff, Mayor of LeMars

13.  Jon McAvoy, Adel City Council

14.  Gary Nystrom, Boone City Council

15.  Alan Ostergren, Muscatine County Attorney

16.  Noreen Otto, Newton City Council

17.  Dale Petersen, Mayor of Sergeant Bluff

18.  Guy Richardson, Greene County Supervisor

19.  Adam Schweers, Mayor of Carroll

20.  Dick Sievers, Remsen City Council

21.  Dawn Smith, Mayor of Durant

22.  David E. Steffens, Mayor of Lake Mills

23.  Renee Twedt, Story County Treasurer

24.  Jayson Vande Hoef, Osceola County Supervisor

25.  Tom Walling, Oskaloosa City Councilman

26.  Stan Watne, Wright County Supervisor

# # #

Simon to be recognized for work to end domestic violence PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Kara Beach   
Monday, 11 March 2013 11:46

CHICAGO – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will be honored by Between Friends of Chicago for her years spent helping victims of domestic violence. The organization will name Simon a “Friend of the Year” at its annual Bubble Ball on Saturday at the River East Arts Center.

“This week, President Obama signed an extension of the Violence Against Women Act, reinforcing the idea that all relationships should be healthy,” Simon said. “I have been fortunate to have worked with organizations like Between Friends of Chicago to help the victims of domestic violence rebuild their lives, and we need to continue working to end domestic violence.”

Between Friends of Chicago is a nonprofit agency that provides services to domestic violence survivors and their families. Between Friends also provides youth and adult education programs aimed at preventing domestic violence. Proceeds from the event will support the organization’s efforts.

“Lt. Governor Sheila Simon exemplifies the mission of Between Friends. For example, Lt. Governor Simon’s Virtual Legal Clinic, which uses the Internet and webcams to link domestic violence survivors in underserved areas with volunteer attorneys, is the type of creative thinking we need to helps victims of domestic violence get crucial assistance,” says Kathleen A. Doherty, executive director of Between Friends.

Lt. Governor Simon is a former assistant state’s attorney who worked with victims of domestic violence and prosecuted domestic violence cases. As a law professor, she helped launch the Southern Illinois School of Law's domestic violence clinic to serve clients and train law students. Since becoming Lt. Governor, Simon has worked with the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) to start virtual legal clinics that connect survivors with attorneys through webcam technology. Simon has also partnered with Verizon and the ICADV to raise revenue and collect used cell phones for survivors, and she worked with Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) on a new law that requires adult entertainment establishments to collect a surcharge that supports programs that help sexual abuse victims.

For more information, please visit

Saturday, March 9

EVENT: Between Friends of Chicago’s Annual Bubble Ball

TIME: 7 p.m.

PLACE: River East Arts Center, 435 East Illinois St., Chicago, 6061

New Creative Workshop ‘Finding Your Focus’ at The Artful Office PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Nichole Jones   
Friday, 08 March 2013 16:06

What: New workshop for creatives, 'Creative Co-Working: Finding Your Focus'

When: Wednesdays March 13, 20 , 27, and April 3rd from 6-7p

Where: The Artful Office, 1700 2nd Avenue, Suite 1, Rock Island, IL 61201

Who: Nikki Jones, Owner of The Artful Office, graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a B.A. in Marketing Communications, specialization in arts, entrepreneurship, and small business. Her young professional resume includes such work as Paralegal and Office Manager for a law office, Traffic Coordinator and General Manager of a graphic design and production house, and Director of Marketing, Merchandising, and Distribution for a popular brewery. Her desire to succeed as an entrepreneur is matched only by her passion for sharing what she learns with other like-minded individuals.

Description: A relaxed, 4-week series of 'coffee talks' at The Artful Office, located in the District of Rock Island. You have creative ideas and goals flying all over the place, and feel a little helpless to nail them down. This series will both motivate you to purse those goals now and help you figure out which ideas go where on your path to success. In addition to inspriring conversation, we'll use worksheets and excersies that transform thoughts into actions. You'll finish the series with a clearer idea of what success looks like for you and how small steps can carry you down that path. Snacks and beverages provided.

Week 1: Defining Success & Why We Simply MUST Do What We Love

Week 2: Using Our Past, Present, and Future to Prioritize Ideas and Goals

Week 3: Uncovering Our Personal Brand (without getting put in a box)

Week 4: Taking Action to Draw Opportunities to Ourselves

Registration: $40 - register online at or on facebook at TheArtfulOffice



Pick the perfect gift for Mother’s Day and watch your love grow all year. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Friday, 08 March 2013 16:01
The Iowa State University Scott County Extension & Outreach Master Gardeners are selling planted containers for Mother’s Day giving. Choose from four flowering pot combinations in either a table top or hanging pot or an herb container.

Each pot is planted by the ISU Scott County Extension & Outreach Master Gardeners with plants from a local greenhouse especially chosen to create a container that blooms all summer long. The cost is $25 per container with deadline for orders and payment by 4pm on April 2, 2013. Call the ISU Scott County Extension & Outreach Office to order: 563-359-7577

Your container will be available for pick up at the Extension Office, 875 Tanglefoot Lane, Bettendorf, IA 52722 on Friday, May 10 from 4:30-6:00 pm or Saturday, May 11th from noon-4 pm. Proceeds from the sale supports horticulture education programs in Scott County.


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