Art this FRIDAY!

There's a terrific set of interlocking art openings this coming Friday, December the 4th. The particulars are included in the following attachment. Then there's a hint at the Honors Show. Please pass the word!


3-5 p.m.?Open House at The Black Lodge (8 Painting III students) SE corner of Marquette and Locust Streets, Davenport, 323-1492

3-5 p.m.?Open House at Oz Studios, 2006 Gaines Street, Davenport, (Painting IV and Honors), 333-5237

5-7 p.m.?Opening Reception, Catich Gallery, for Marta Currier and Myriah Schultz's Senior Honors show, Galvin Fine Arts Center, D'Port 333-6444

6-8 p.m.?Grand Opening of The Bakery (the gallery, not the bakery), 1330 East 12th Street, Davenport?Large, multi-color prints by Brett Colley, Professor of Art at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan 6-8 p.m., East Side Bakery, 323-1475

Fashion Retailer is Drop-Off Site for Holiday Toy Collection

Clinton, IA - Children are busy making their holiday wish lists with the hope that they'll find "that special toy" under the tree. But with countless families experiencing tough financial times, many children won't find any toys waiting for them this holiday season.

maurices is pledging to do its part. The fashion retailer for young women has become a new national partner with Toys for Tots and will collect toys for disadvantaged children at its Clinton Square location.

All new, unwrapped toys collected from Thursday November 19 to Thursday December 10 at maurices, 2712 s 25th St. Clinton Square STE E and F Clinton Square IA 52732, will be distributed to local families by Maurices. As a special thank you, maurices will give those who make a donation a coupon for 20 percent off a regular-priced item.

"Many families are facing difficult times," said maurices Store Manager Maren Esnard, "but we want children to still experience the joys of the holiday season. Our hope is that this toy drive brings lots of happiness and unending smiles to the young people in our community."

Gifts are needed for children of all ages. "It's so much fun to buy little dolls and toy trucks," said Esnard, "but we're also encouraging customers to think about buying presents for tweens and teens who are sometimes forgotten. Things like board games, books, fragrances, jewelry and accessories make great gifts for older children."

The goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver a message of hope, through a new toy during the holidays, to less fortunate youngsters. The organization estimates that there will be 1 million more children in need this holiday season.

"We're so grateful to maurices for becoming one of our newest national partners," said Bill Grein, Toys for Tots vice president of marketing and development. "Many of their 730 stores are located in smaller markets where there may not be a lot of programs for disadvantaged children. Their partnership will help us bring more smiles to more children this year, which is terrific."

About maurices

maurices inspires young women to find their style, with adorable, affordable fashions in sizes 1-24. Whether it's jeans or jewelry, maurices offers everything a girl needs to fill her closet with the latest trends. From loungewear to office wear, evenings in or out on the town, maurices fits the way women live and work. The community-based fashion retailer has grown to more than 740 locations nationwide since its first store opened in 1931. maurices is wholly owned by dressbarn Inc. (NASDAQ: DBRN).

For fashion inspiration, store locations and career information, visit

Vander Veer Conservatory

Saturday and Sunday, December 5th & 6th, 2009

Free admission for all

Special events include :

Northwoods Christmas Conservatory and Pointsettia Display

Christmas Fern and Orchid Display

Saturday, Dec 5th from 10am-2pm "Canine Christmas"

Enjoy a free photography sitting with your family and/or pet in the Conservatory. Photos may be purchased through Studio D Photography for your holiday gift giving.

Sunday, Dec 6th from 2pm-4pm "Snowflake Making Demonstration"

"Mr. Snowflake" Keith Bonnstetter demonstrates that art of paper snowflake cutting. Enjoy his snowflake art in our Northwoods Christmas Display.

Sunday, Dec 6th from 2pm-6pm "Illowa Orchid Society - Orchid Clinic"

Stop in and enjoy the Orchid Display and ask the experts your Orchid questions.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today saluted the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) teams that were recently deployed to Iowa.  NCCC is a full time service program for men and women ages 18-24 who work in teams to respond to local needs identified by community-based organizations.  The teams will be based out of the AmeriCorps NCCC Vinton campus and will assist with projects in Cedar Rapids, Marion, Coon Rapids and Des Moines.  All of the teams were deployed on Nov. 18 and will finish their services on Dec. 15.  Harkin established the Vinton NCCC site in the 2008 Labor-HHS Appropriations bill.

"As we approach the holiday season, many of us will gather with loved ones and give thanks for our many blessings.  During this time, however, it is also important to remember our friends and neighbors in need- especially in parts of Iowa still recovering from last year's floods," said Harkin. "AmeriCorps NCCC teams are being deployed around Iowa to do just that, and I salute these young men and women for serving others and helping to improve our state and country."

Harkin has been a long-time supporter of national service efforts.  One of his top priorities as chairman of the Appropriations panel that funds AmeriCorps has been to secure appropriate resources for the organization.   Harkin was also a cosponsor of the Serve America Act, legislation that sets out a vision to more than triple, to 250,000, the number of full-and part-time national service volunteers eligible to serve.  The legislation passed Congress and was signed into law by President Obama earlier this year.

The details of the projects the recently deployed NCCC members will assist with follows:

• In Cedar Rapids, the teams will work with the Community Corrections Improvement Association to rebuild neighborhoods affected by last year's intense flooding.  Their work will include rebuilding the interiors of homes affected by the disaster, volunteer recruitment and mobilization, and need assessment.

• In Marion, teams will work alongside the Flood Recovery Office of the United Methodist Church - Block-by-Block Project to help rebuild homes participating in the project.  Their duties will include drywall, painting, landscaping and installing trim.

• In Coon Rapids, the AmeriCorps teams will work with the Whiterock Conservatory to help with oak savanna restoration in the area.

• In Des Moines, volunteers will work with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for residents in the community.

Bettendorf, IA - The North Central States Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society will hold its annual walk MS in Bettendorf on Saturday, May 8, 2010.

More than 500 walkers are expected to come out and help raise the goal of $40,250.  Funds raised will support direct services for the more than 8,000 people with MS and their families in the North Central States Chapter area and national MS research to find a cure for this chronic disease of the central nervous system.

Walk MS: Bettendorf Walk will be entering its 9th year. Walkers will participate in a 3 mile walk, and the festivities will take off and end at the Veteran Memorial Park in Bettendorf with lunch being served following the walk. Registration will open at 8:00 am and the walk will begin at 10:00 am. People can participate in walk MS individually, as a team, or as a virtual walker. Volunteers are also needed!

Your browser may not support display of this image.

      • WHAT: Walk MS: Quad Cities Walk to benefit the North Central States Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

WHEN: Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 10:00 am

WHERE: Veterans Memorial Park

      • WHY: Proceeds raised will benefit the North Central States Chapter of the National MS Society.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

  • The National MS Society helps each person address the challenges of living with MS through our 50-state network of chapters.

  • Through our home office and 50-state network of chapters, we fund more MS research, provide more services to people with MS, offer more professional education and further more advocacy efforts than any other MS organization in the world.

  • The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS.  We are people who want to do something about MS now.  Join the movement at


About Multiple Sclerosis

  • Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.

  • Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.  The advancement, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS.

  • Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease.

  • MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and 2.5 million worldwide.


Before opening his first Happy Joe's Pizza & Ice Cream Parlor, founder Joe Whitty was nearly fired from another pizza chain for sponsoring a party for a group of special needs children without first checking with his boss.

The night before opening his first restaurant in the Village of East Davenport, Happy Jo invited the local priest to bless his business and he made a promise that if he could make enoughmoney to feed his family, he would give something back to the community. As it turned out, business was so good that Joe thought maybe he shouldn't have prayed so hard. "After just a few weeks in business, people were waiting out the door," Joe said. "I wanted to be true to my word, so I shut the restaurant down one day a year to have a party for those less fortunate, and I required my franchises to do the same."

"We've been having these Special Needs parties for 37 years now, and have hosted nearly 150,000 special needs children at parties throughout our chain. I hope we never stop," Joe commented.

"As we expand into new markets, it's important to continue this tradition," said Larry Whitty, President of Happy Joe's and son of the founder.

The daughter of Happy Joe Whitty and Marketing Director for Happy Joe's, Kristel Whitty-Ersan, stated, "Again this year we are very honored that Pepsi Co., as well as many of the Quad Cities' Optimists Clubs made contributions to our parties allowing us to continue with out two-day event at the iWireless Center, serving even more children from the Quad Cities area. All of our Quad Cities locations are involved in hosting the parties and our entire team is very excited! We want to also thank the Sparkles Cheer Team from Pleasant Valley for showing us their spirit. We appreciate so much others who help make this event bigger and better each year: Burke Corp., Connie McGowan, The Midwest Corvette Club, city and state police volunteers, and the other volunteers too numberous to mention."

The Quad Cities Special Needs Children's Party will be held December 1st and 2nd at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. each day (four parties total).

An additional party will be held at the Milan Happy Joe's on December 8th at 10:00 a.m.

For more information, please contact our Marketing Department at 563-332-8811, ext. 203.

# # #

If you are in need of fresh baked goods for the holidays, unique gift ideas or original decorations this is the place to shop. It is easy to find, provides convenient parking, and there is something for everyone on your shopping list. Take the opportuntiy to share something locally made with your friends and family - shop the Indoor Farmers' Market at the Isle on Saturdays.

  • Indoor Farmers' Market at the Isle
  • 1850 Lady Luck Parkway, Bettendorf (Next to Farradday's Restaurant)
  • 9am until 1pm now through December 19th; reopening after the holidays on January 16th through April.

DES MOINES, IA (11/24/2009)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald encourages Iowa consumers to be proactive in protecting the value of the gift cards they give or receive this holiday season by following some basic tips. "Holiday shoppers are expected to spend around $24 billion nationally on gift cards this year," stated Fitzgerald. "Unfortunately, some of those cards will never be redeemed."

A recent study by Consumer Reports found that twenty-five percent of those who received gift cards last holiday season still hold at least one unredeemed card. "Holding a gift card too long increases the odds that it will never be used," stated Fitzgerald. Prompt usage of gift cards reduces the likelihood it will be lost or stolen, and eliminates the need to worry about expiration dates and fees that can reduce its value.

"Nobody can afford to let money go to waste," said Fitzgerald. "These tips can help you protect the value of the gift cards you purchase for others, as well as the ones you receive."


  • Read the fine print. If the disclosures are too confusing, you may want to rethink your purchase.
  • Buy gift cards from reputable retailers where you know the recipient will shop.
  • Give the original receipt and disclosure information to the recipient in the event it is needed to replace a lost or stolen gift card.


  • Read the fine print. Check the disclosures for expiration dates or fees that can reduce the value of the gift card.
  • Understand the retailer's policy for replacing a lost or stolen gift card.
  • Use the gift card promptly.
  • Keep the original receipt if it was included with the gift card.

"Retailers are encouraged to honor all of the gift cards they sell, even those which have expired," Fitzgerald stated. "By doing so they stay on friendly terms with their customers." Current law requires that the expiration date and fees be clearly displayed on any gift card that carries them.

Increased protection for consumers is on the way. Passed by Congress earlier this year, the Credit Card Act of 2009 will prohibit fees on gift cards for one year and expiration dates of less than five years from the date of purchase. The new rules will go into effect in 2010.

Consumers with questions or concerns regarding a gift card that a retailer will not honor because it has expired are encouraged to contact the State Treasurer's office. Please provide a copy of the gift certificate and a brief letter stating the circumstances of the complaint.

Michael L. Fitzgerald

Treasurer of the State of Iowa

Davenport, Iowa (November 24, 2009) - Iowa American Water reminds homeowners to take precautions now to be prepared for freezing winter temperatures that are just around the corner. Acting now can prevent costly plumbing repairs and headaches for homeowners.
"During winter weather, water pipes need special care to keep them from freezing, so homeowners should take reasonable precautions to help protect their property from damage," said Randy Moore, president of Iowa American Water. "Weatherproofing your home against the cold will pay dividends on energy bills in the winter and will also help protect your indoor plumbing against the threat of breaks."
Iowa American Water encourages its customers to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of freezing pipes that can burst.
Before cold weather sets in:
• Know what areas of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms and outside walls, are most vulnerable to freezing.
• Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near doors.
• Know where your main water shut-off valve is. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the water off immediately.
• Protect your pipes and water meter. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation or use electrical heat tracing wire; newspaper or fabric may also work. For outside meters, keep the lid to the meter pit closed tightly and let any snow that falls cover it. Snow acts as insulation so don't disturb it.
When temperatures fall below zero:
• If you have pipes that are vulnerable to freezing, allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe.
• Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to help keep them from freezing.
If your pipes freeze:
• Shut off the water immediately. Don't attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or joints.
• Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it, or by applying heat directly to a pipe. You can use a hair dryer, space heater, or hot water. Be sure not to leave space heaters unattended, and avoid the use of kerosene heaters or open flames.
• Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.
When you are away:
• Have a friend, relative or neighbor regularly check your property to insure the heat is working and the pipes have not frozen.
• Also, a freeze alarm can be purchased for less than $100 and will call a user-selected phone number if the inside temperature drops below 45 degrees.
Currently, Iowa American Water is including cold weather tips information in all of its customer billings. In addition, more cold weather tips can be found at
Iowa American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water servicesto approximately 200,000 people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting

WASHINGTON? As health reform reaches a critical juncture in Congress, AARP and AMA are joining forces to cut through the noise and focus on the benefits of health reform for older Americans who depend on Medicare and the physicians who care for them.  Today, AARP and AMA are launching a national television ad that separates fact from fiction and highlights how health reform will improve Medicare by lowering prescription drug costs and making certain that neither government nor insurance bureaucrats come between Medicare patients and their doctors when making important health decisions.

"We know opponents of health care reform won't rest," said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond.  "We'll continue to fight for older Americans and to protect and strengthen Medicare, not only for today, but for generations to come."

"Together, AMA and AARP are working to put the scare tactics to bed once and for all and inform patients about the benefits of health reform," said AMA President J. James Rohack, M.D.  "Preserving the patient-physician relationship, improving the private insurance market so that coverage can't be denied if you get sick or lose your job, and finally fixing the Medicare physician payment formula that puts seniors' access to care at risk are some of the key goals we're working for this year."

As debate continues in the halls of Congress and across America, so do the myths and scare tactics designed to mislead seniors about what health care reform will mean for their Medicare.  Special interests have pumped millions of dollars into distorting reform proposals and confusing seniors.

"AARP is fighting to protect and improve the sacred promise of Medicare made to the millions of older Americans who depend upon it," said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond.  "Now, special interests are using myths and misinformation to distort the truth and wrongly suggesting that Medicare will be harmed.  After a lifetime of hard work, don't seniors deserve better?"

The new TV ad features a physician and a "spin doctor" each sharing their perspective on health reform, with the physician correcting misinformation about health reform.

This ad is just one part of a multi-faceted education campaign AARP and AMA have undertaken and will continue as they educate their members and others about the truth behind health care reform.  In 2009 alone, AARP has sponsored or has been featured in 649 town hall meetings, tele-town hall meetings, forums and roundtables, and has reached over 50 million readers and viewers through its publications and television, radio and print ads.  AMA has reached millions through grassroots patient and physician outreach, news conferences, satellite media tours, media appearances, social media, direct mail, and TV, radio and print advertising.

The ad can be found at

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's nearly 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website,  AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association helps doctors help patients by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues. Working together, the AMA's quarter of a million physician and medical student members are playing an active role in shaping the future of medicine. For more information on the AMA, please visit