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Talking Movies: Late shift at the Grindhouse, curated by FilmScene projectionist Ross Meyer, celebrates three years

In the last few years B movies have stepped out of the cinematic shadows and into the limelight as legitimate, critically valid films. From John Wick to Green Room and, recently, Get Out, cinematic fare once considered schlock is now being taken seriously. Hollywood has been turning out low-budget commercial fare since its Golden Age — though there are many terrible B movies, there are also plenty of cinematic gems in the genre. Ross Meyer is the local cinephile who uncovers and curates these lost treasures for a weekly movie celebration known as Late Shift at the Grindhouse, coming up on its third anniversary this month. The Wednesday night series is the culmination of Meyer’s lifelong passion for film. […]

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With the legislative session closed, activists respond to the Iowa Legislature’s conservative turn

Gov. Terry Branstad heralded this year as “one of the most significant and productive sessions in our history.” And it certainly did produce a large volume of wide-ranging, impactful bills. But for some, those bills represented a sharp lurch to the right and an abrupt end to bipartisan Iowa politics. Among the measures that left Iowa organizations and activists gearing up for a fight are laws impacting women’s access to abortions, reducing union bargaining rights, expanding and protecting access to guns and decreased support for public education.

Some measures, including a 72-hour waiting period for abortions and restrictions on collective bargaining rights for public employees, have already been challenged in court. […]

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Prairie Pop: Former Angels of Light reminisce about the influence of their brother and son Hibiscus

Before George Harris III became Hibiscus and founded the genderfluid theater troupe the Cockettes, he put on shows with his family in Florida during the early 1960s. The oldest of six siblings — three girls and three boys, sort of an avant-garde Brady Bunch — George formed the El Dorado Players, named after the street they lived on in Clearwater, Florida.

“Hibiscus had real leadership qualities,” his youngest sister Mary Lou said. “He came out of the womb as the grand marshal. He was just like the leader of the parade — tons of ideas. ‘Let’s get it rolling. Let’s not even think!’” […]

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The Cedar Rapids Public Library wins the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries

Out of over 100,000 public libraries in the United States, the Cedar Rapids Public Library is in the top of its class. The Cedar Rapids Public Library has been awarded the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service and shares this honor with only four other libraries and five museums across the country. […]

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Opinion: What does it mean for a straight white man to become aware of sexual assault?

Meditation practices distinguish attention and awareness. One simple way to distinguish them is to understand attention as a mental or conceptual activity — one’s thoughts — and awareness as what falls outside of the mind — perceptions, sensations, attunements. President Trump issued a proclamation on March 31 declaring April Sexual Assault Awareness Month — the […]

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Updated: Satellite Marches for Science spring up across Iowa in support of the national march

This Earth Day, April 22, people are taking a stand to defend science and evidence-based policy with a March for Science. In addition to the march planned on the National Mall in Washington D.C., over 500 satellite marches are planned around the country and the world. In Iowa, marches are planned in Des Moines, Iowa City, Davenport, Independence, Tipton, Decorah, Dubuque, Mason City and Cedar Falls.

The idea for the march sprang up in the wake of the massive post-inauguration Women’s March and has gained support following actions from the new presidential administration and from state and federal legislators that undermine or ignore scientific knowledge. Over the past few months, the science march’s main Facebook page has gained over 500,000 likes and has been championed by Bill Nye (the Science Guy), who was named one of the honorary national co-chairs, and Jane Goodall. […]

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Medical cannabis bill advances in Iowa senate

A bill to expand access to medicinal cannabis in Iowa may be debated as soon as today. Senate File 506 has received bipartisan support and may pass in the senate. The ways and means committee, including Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City), voted 14 to 1 to move forward with the bill. […]

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Branstad signs sweeping gun legislation, detractors and proponents react

Governor Terry Branstad signed the most sweeping change in gun legislation in Iowa history, House File 517, into law yesterday. All the Johnson and Linn County Republican legislators voted for the bill, and all the Democrats voted against, with the exception of Kirsten Running-Marquardt (D-Cedar Rapids), who was absent. It passed the Senate on April […]

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Take action to fight sexual assault with a month-long series of events

April is national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and a coalition of community groups have a plethora of events planned. The University of Iowa’s Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) has participated in SAAM since it began sixteen years ago. In the last two years they have moved toward a coalition model to include as many […]

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Jim Beam and Mission Creek team up with Iowa City restaurants for festival cocktail offerings

Those enjoying the musical performances, literary readings and film screenings during the Mission Creek Festival can also wet their whistles with signature cocktails crafted by local mixologists. In partnership with Jim Beam and Mission Creek, participating venues — Forbidden Planet, The Mill, Motley Cow, Pullman, Trumpet Blossom, and the Blue Moose — will serve specially […]

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Enter the ‘Crawlspaces of Love’: An introduction to Flavor Basket

“Which parking lot are we gonna live in now?” Charlie Vestal was a creature of parking lots, basements, DIY venues, skate parks, junk stores and late night song circles. His song “Night Motivation,” his parking lot paean, has stricken me deeply lately and I can’t see the nighttime locales of Ames, his haunts for the […]

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Photos: Large turnout to support Muslims at the Mother Mosque of America

A large crowd gathered on Sunday, March 26 at the Mother Mosque of America to show support for Muslims in Iowa and throughout the United States. The Mother Mosque was the first Mosque built in North America and now acts as cultural center, with the mission, according to their website, to “preserve, present and share the history of Islam in America.” […]

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