This Week in the Village: Aug. 4-10

Catch up on the biggest headlines, videos and photos published by Little Village in the past week.

‘We’re all in to defeat Steve King’: J.D. Scholten announces he’s running for Congress in Iowa’s 4th District

J. D. Scholten — campaign photo

Published Monday, Aug. 5

J.D. Scholten, who narrowly lost to Rep. Steve King in the 2018 general election, announced on Monday morning he is running again in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

“It’s official — we’re all in to defeat Steve King,” Scholten posted on Facebook.

Scholten made his announcement with a video that has great production values — including narration by Kevin Costner — but no mention of political issues. Instead of explaining what Scholten would do in Congress, it stressed Scholten’s identity as a western Iowan, although it is vague as to what that means. The ad also never specifies that Scholten is a Democrat. Continue reading…

GateHouse Media will buy Gannett, owner of the Press-Citizen and Des Moines Register, for $1.4 billion

Iowa newspapers published by Gannett and GateHouse Media. — illustration by Jav Ducker

Published Monday, Aug. 5

GateHouse Media will buy Gannett Co. Inc., USA Today reported on Monday afternoon. USA Today is the flagship newspaper for Gannett, which also owns the Press-Citizen and Des Moines Register. The two companies agreed to a “cash-and-stock deal worth about $1.38 billion and financed in part with new private-equity debt,” according to USA Today.

GateHouse is the largest owner of daily newspapers in the country with 156 dailies, mostly in small markets, as well as 328 weeklies. Gannett, which owns 109 daily papers across the country, has the largest circulation of any American newspaper chain. Continue reading…

Joe Biden to return to Iowa City before going to the Iowa State Fair, where his 1988 presidential campaign fell apart

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Big Grove Brewery. Wednesday, May 1, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Tuesday, Aug. 6

Joe Biden is returning Iowa City on Wednesday for a meet-and-greet at his Kennedy Plaza campaign headquarters. The stop comes one day before the former vice president and current 2020 candidate takes the stage at the Iowa State Fair’s Political Soapbox, sponsored by the Des Moines Register.

A total of 24 presidential candidates will be speaking at the soapbox from Thursday, Aug. 8 to Saturday, Aug. 17, but Biden’s return to the state fair is unique. It was his performance at the 1987 Iowa State Fair that led to the collapse of Biden’s first run for president. Continue reading…

Public Space One to relocate to ‘a home for possibilities’ in Iowa City’s Northside for fall 2019

The stained glass at 229 Gilbert St. — Rachel Wachter/Little Village

Published Tuesday, Aug. 6

Public Space One (PS1), Iowa City’s “small a” art gallery, which also houses the Iowa City Press Co-op and the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, is officially a property owner as of Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, and is currently holding the keys to the organization’s own future.

Keys, as in multiple. Continue reading…

Cedar Rapids issued more than 4,000 tickets in four days after the I-380 speed cameras were reactivated

Photo by Kurt Zenisek

Published Wednesday, Aug. 7

Cedar Rapids issued more than 4,000 tickets in four days after it reactivated its I-380 speed cameras at the beginning of July, the Gazette reported on Wednesday. Between July 1-4, the southbound camera at the highway’s S-curve generated 2,272 tickets and its northbound counterpart produced 2,192.

The vast majority of tickets were for people driving 12 to 20 mph over the 55 mph speed limit. Continue reading…

Joe Biden returns to Iowa City and asks Democrats to show up for him at the caucus

Joe Biden speaks to the overflow crowd outside his newly opened campaign office on Gilbert Street. Wednesday, Aug 8, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Thursday, Aug. 8

“My dad used to have an expression,” Joe Biden said at the beginning of his brief remarks to the overflow crowd gathered at his Iowa City campaign headquarters on Wednesday evening. “He said, ‘half of winning is showing up.’”

Biden himself showed up to the meet-and-greet seven minutes early to encourage the people at the office, located in the space on S Gilbert Street that used to house Critical Hit, to show up for him at their caucuses in February. It was a stark contrast to his first Iowa City campaign event in May, when he kept the crowd waiting for over an hour. Continue reading…

Five questions with: playwright Rob Merritt

Published Thursday, Aug. 8

In 2011, at the first ever Theatre Cedar Rapids Underground New Play Festival, the community was surprised by a new play from local playwright Rob Merritt, The Summerland Project. A fascinating and philosophical piece of rare science fiction theater, The Summerland Project explored the implications, both ethical and emotional, of Carter Summerland’s decision to place his wife, Amelia, into an experimental project that would transfer her consciousness from her failing body to a synthetic one.

Now, this perfect storm of success has come full circle, with Merritt’s play Aurora, a sequel to The Summerland Project, anchoring TCR’s ninth annual Underground New Play Festival. Continue reading…

Current issue: Little Village issue 268

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