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This Week in the Village: Feb. 9-15


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

‘They screwed it up badly’: Caucus troubles continue as delegates are awarded, a recanvass is expected and bad math is defended

Kids occupy themselves in the City High cafeteria on Caucus Night. Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Monday, Feb. 10

A week after the Iowa Caucus, its outcome is still uncertain, but that didn’t stop the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) from announcing the projected number of delegates to the Democratic National Convention each candidate won in the Feb. 3 caucus.

Pete Buttigieg, who had the second-highest number of supporters in the caucus, was awarded the largest number of national delegates by the IDP. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana will have 14 of the 41 available delegates Iowa sends to the national convention. Continue reading…

The Oscars did something right! FilmScene audiences cheered for ‘Parasite,’ honored snubbed films Sunday

Park So-dam in ‘Parasite’ — film still

Published Monday, Feb. 10

All of Hollywood is nursing a hangover, so you know what that means: It’s the Monday after the Academy Awards! After a disappointing 2019 Oscars (including a Best Picture winner that was more than a little controversial) and a slate of 2020 nominees rife with snubs — see: Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), everyone involved in The Farewell and others — cinephiles’ expectations were tempered last night. But they were in for a pleasant surprise, or four. Continue reading…

Leon Bridges, Of Monsters and Men, Old Crow Medicine Show and more set for Hinterland Fest

Leon Bridges performs at Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas, Sept. 18, 2016. — Cal Quinn

Published Tuesday, Feb. 11

Iowans will be rockin’ like a wagon wheel at the sixth annual Hinterland Music Festival, Friday, July 31 to Sunday, Aug. 2. On Tuesday, Fest organizers announced 24 artists on their 2020 lineup, including classic country stars, alt-rock bands and everything in between.

Topping the bill is Of Monsters and Men, an Icelandic folk/pop group best known for mega-singles “Little Talks,” “Mountain Sound” and “Dirty Paws” off their 2012 album My Head is an Animal; Leon Bridges, a Texan singer-songwriter who captures a nostalgic ’60s soul/R&B sound in hits like “Coming Home” and “River” (the latter featured prominently in the Big Little Lies season one soundtrack); and Tyler Childers, whose distinctly Kentucky blend of country, folk and bluegrass (and lyrical commentary on coal mining and poverty) earned him a Grammy nod in 2019. Continue reading…

Camp Euforia’s 2020 festival will be its last

Euforquestra closes out the second night of Camp Euforia. Saturday, July 14, 2018. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Wednesday, Feb. 12

Organizers of the Camp Euforia music festival, including the founding band Eufórquestra, have announced that the event will discontinue after the 17th annual fest this summer.

Camp Euforia began as an appreciation party for fans of Iowa City-based funk-fusion group Eufórquestra. But since that first festival in 2004, the event became not only a showcase for the titular band, but a three-day celebration of Midwestern and roots musicians. It was also distinctly Iowan, taking place on local farmer Jerry Hotz’s property (affectionately called “Jerry’s Farm”), with sets played in a barn on stages made from hayracks, attended by adults and kids alike, who sleep (or party through the night) in tents and RVs on the surrounding campsites. Continue reading…

Calling Iowa a ‘sinkhole,’ Andrew Yang drops out of the 2020 race; Bennet and Patrick follow

Andrew Yang and Sen. Michael Bennet dropped out of the 2020 race Tuesday after receiving zero delegates in the New Hampshire primary. (Zak Neumann/Little Village) Deval Patrick followed on Wednesday. (Massachusetts DOT)

Published Wednesday, Feb. 12

Andrew Yang announced on Tuesday night he is ending his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. The candidate made his announcement as results from Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary showed him finishing in eighth place, with less than 3 percent of the vote and zero delegates.

Last week, Yang had a similarly weak showing in the Iowa Caucus. A partial recanvass of the caucus results is ongoing, but there’s no chance it would result in Yang receiving any of the state’s delegates. Continue reading…

The cast of ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ is coming to Cedar Rapids

Jon Heder (Napoleon), Efren Ramirez (Pedro) in ‘Napoleon Dynamite.’ — film still

Published Wednesday, Feb. 12

Attention former early ’00s teens: Dig your “Vote for Pedro” tee out of the old-clothes trash bag in the back of your childhood bedroom closet, fill your pocket with tots, grab a Chapstick and head to Paramount Theatre on Sept. 27 to meet your, uh, heroes.

Three stars of the 2004 indie comedy Napoleon Dynamite — Jon Heder (Napoleon), Efren Ramirez (Pedro) and Jon Gries (Uncle Rico) — are coming to Cedar Rapids for a one-night-only screening of the film and a Q&A with the audience. Tickets for the event go on sale Friday at 10 a.m., costing $35, or $125 for a VIP ticket including a meet-and-greet. Continue reading…

The Iowa Democratic Party establishes a timeline to determine the timeline for a caucus recanvass

Passing the time at Southeast Junior High during the Iowa Caucus. Monday, Feb 3, 2020. –Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Wednesday, Feb. 12

The Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) has now established a timeline for completing a partial recanvass of the results in the Feb. 3 caucus. Or rather, a timeline for deciding what the timeline for the recanvass will be.

On Monday, both the Sanders and Buttigieg campaign requested recanvasses of certain caucus precincts, and on Wednesday, the IDP sent letters to the campaigns formally accepting those requests. Continue reading…

Cedar Rapids coffee shop The Early Bird is closing its doors next month

The Early Bird coffee shop in Cedar Rapids, 333 1st St SE. — photo courtesy of the Early Bird’s Facebook page.

Published Wednesday, Feb. 12

The Early Bird is flying from its Cedar Rapids nest. The coffee shop will close its doors in early March after more than eight years in business, owner Brooke Fitzgerald said in a Facebook post Tuesday morning.

“When I opened the Bird 8 1/2 years ago, I had no idea what was about to be created,” Fitzgerald wrote. “All I knew was this was a dream that was becoming a reality thanks to a friend who pushed me outside of my comfort zone, my brother who moved back to Iowa to help get Early Bird off the ground and a husband who was incredibly supportive and believed in me.” Continue reading…

Fresh off Trump praise, Grassley kicks off 40th ‘Full Grassley’ with closed-door events in Eastern Iowa

Sen. Chuck Grassley, President Trump and Sen. Joni Ernst pose for a photo after the 2020 State of the Union address. — via Joni Ernst on Twitter

Published Thursday, Feb. 13

Sen. Chuck Grassley will kick off his annual tour of all Iowa’s 99 counties on Friday, with stops in three counties: Johnson, Cedar and Jones. It’s the 40th year for the “Full Grassley,” the nickname the senator has adopted for the tour.

“I look forward to the opportunity to listen to Iowans’ comments and concerns and respond directly to their questions,” Grassley said in a written statement announcing the new tour.

But there are limits on who Grassley will be listening to. Continue reading…

Rompot residents seek to join lawsuit over Cargill’s construction of a new Cedar Rapids rail yard

The site where Cargill plans to build their 12-track, 200-car rail yard. — Izabela Zaluska/Little Village

Published Thursday, Feb. 13

The pushback against a future Cargill rail yard near the Rompot neighborhood and Prairie Park Fishery is continuing, and this week a group of Rompot residents filed motions seeking to join a pending lawsuit that challenges the Cedar Rapids City Council’s decisions to amend the future land use map and plan to rezone nearly 17 acres of land.

In December, Rob and Kate Hogg filed two petitions in Linn County District Court, one challenging the future land use map and the other challenging the rezoning. The petitions ask the court to suspend development of the property until the legal challenge is resolved, and to overturn the council’s decisions. Continue reading…

Grinnell College sexual health information center reopens after shutdown by administrators

SHIC stickers — via SHIC at Grinnell on Facebook

Published Thursday, Feb. 13

The Sexual Health Information Center (SHIC) at Grinnell College reopened on Jan. 29 after the administration closed the office and suspended operations “indefinitely” less than a week earlier. The student-led organization is now limited in the scope to their activities, raising serious questions about SHIC’s future and student autonomy at Grinnell.

SHIC started as part of a class project when it first opened its doors in 2009, and has operated as a student group providing “a space for students to ask questions and be referred to resources” regarding sexual health and safety for over a decade. Continue reading…

Getting to know the Evitapus: Eight women take on an iconic role at the CCPA

Lauren Rude as Eva Péron with the ensemble. — Coralville Center for the Performing Arts

Published Friday, Feb. 14

There is something incredible that happens when you stir up the norm. City Circle Theatre Company’s concert presentation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s highly successful Evita will be electrifying the Coralville Center of the Performing Arts this weekend, Feb. 14-16 (tickets are $14-29). Their concept is unlike any Evita I had heard before, with eight capable actresses sharing the leading role of Eva Peron. Continue reading…

Iowa Senate approves anti-abortion constitutional amendment on a party-line vote

A demonstrator holds a sign referencing the Iowa state motto during a pro-choice rally on the University of Iowa Pentacrest, Friday, May 17, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Friday, Feb. 14

On Thursday, the Republican majority in the Iowa Senate approved an amendment to the Iowa Constitution that would undermine a woman’s right to make reproductive health choices, in an attempt to make abortion illegal. The vote was 32-18, with all Republicans voting in favor of the amendment and all the Senate’s Democrats voting against it.

Gov. Kim Reynolds called on the legislature to add anti-abortion language to the constitution during her Condition of the State speech last month. Continue reading…

Blake Shaw gets romantic: 14 songs on his Valentine’s Day playlist

Blake Shaw — Means Chan

Published Friday, Feb. 14

Musician Blake Shaw is a familiar face, and voice, in Iowa City. He’s been performing in town for the past 16 years, more than half his life, and living here for 10 of those. If you frequent the city’s formidable jazz circuit, you might have seen him playing out with the Blake Shaw Quintet, Blake Shaw’s BIG(ish) Band, the Clinton St Trio, River Glen or Dan Padley Trio — and those are only what he calls his “most beloved projects.” His skills are in high demand.

But for Valentine’s Day, he’s getting intimate — playing a solo show at the relatively new venue space at Wild Culture Kombucha. It’s the perfect holiday gig for someone who told me he’s a “hopeless romantic with no shame.” Continue reading…

New issue: Little Village issue 278


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