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This Week in the Village: July 7-13

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

ICCSD looks to reduce carbon footprint, following weeks of student protests

South East Junior High students hold a sign reading “Solar Schools” during the Iowa City Student Climate Strike, Friday, April 26, 2019. — Jason Smith/Little Village

Published Monday, July 8

Change doesn’t happen overnight. For students in the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD), change took 11 weeks of protest every Friday during school hours, and appearing before the school board to express their concerns about climate change.

“We demand the Iowa City school board lead on clean energy and climate change and ask solar companies to submit bids for special plans for solar in our schools, such as a third-party power purchase agreement, which would cost little and save the district money from electricity costs and allow students to learn technology for science courses,” said Southeast Junior High student Alex Howe in a speech on April 26, the sixth week of the Iowa City Student Climate Strike. Continue reading…

Iowa sheriff’s department settles lawsuit filed by man arrested for rude Facebook post

Jon Goldsmith — courtesy of the ACLU of Iowa

Published Tuesday, July 8

A southwest Iowa county sheriff’s department has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a man who was arrested in July 2018 because he called a deputy a “fucking pile of shit” and a “STUPID sum bitch” on Facebook.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Department will pay Jon Goldsmith $10,000 as part of a settlement that includes a permanent injunction issued on Monday by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa that prohibits the department from arresting people for simply criticizing deputies, even if they do so rudely. Continue reading…

Eric Swalwell becomes the first Democrat to drop out of the 2020 presidential race

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, during an event held at the Iowa City Public Library. Monday, Feb 18, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Tuesday, July 8

After struggling to get attention in a field of two dozen candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California dominated the 2020 election new cycle for a moment on Monday, by dropping out of the race.

“I promised my family, constituents and supporters that I would always be honest about our chances,” Swalwell said in a Monday afternoon press conference. “After the first Democratic presidential debate, our polling and fundraising effort weren’t what we had hoped for, and I no longer see a path to the nomination.” Continue reading…

Former Illinois congressman Bobby Schilling is running for Congress in Iowa’s 2nd District

Bobby Schilling — official Congressional portrait

Published Tuesday, July 8

On Monday, former Illinois congressman Bobby Schilling filed the paperwork necessary to run for the open seat in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, which is currently held by Rep. Dave Loebsack. The 55-year-old represented the Illinois side of the Quad Cities for two years starting in 2011.

Born in Rock Island, Schilling was a lifelong resident of Illinois until 2017, when he moved across the Mississippi and established residency in Le Claire, Iowa. Continue reading…

Billionaire political activist Tom Steyer announces he’s running for president

Tom Steyer speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. — Gage Skidmore

Published Tuesday, July 9

Less than 24 hours after one California Democrat, Rep. Eric Swalwell, dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, another, Tom Steyer, announced he is joining it.

“The other Democratic candidates for President have many great ideas that will absolutely move our country forward, but we won’t be able to get any of those done until we end the hostile corporate takeover of our democracy,” Steyer, a retired hedge fund manager, said in a press release announcing his candidacy on Tuesday morning. Continue reading…

The Pig & Porter has closed

The patio at the Pig & Porter in Cedar Rapids. — photo courtesy of the Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street District

Published Wednesday, July 10

The Pig & Porter in Cedar Rapids has closed for “the foreseeable future,” according to a Tuesday afternoon post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. The post said the owners are “currently exploring our options as a business.”

The New Bohemia District restaurant opened in 2016, serving a selection of small- and medium-sized plates and a limited number of large dishes made for sharing. Writing in Little Village a few months after Pig & Porter opened, Susan Bednar Blind called the restaurant “something unexpected and interesting.” Continue reading…

Riverside’s ‘Men on Boats’ is sheer delight

(L-R) Rachel Howell, Jo Jordan, Karlē Meyers and Lauren Galliart facing down some dangerous river in Riverside Theatre’s ‘Men on Boats.’ — Rob Merritt/Riverside Theatre

Published Thursday, July 11

In 1869, Major John Wesley Powell took a crew of nine other men on an expedition to traverse and map the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. In just over three months, six of them emerged on the other side of the canyon, having completed the journey more or less in tact.

Some may argue that, in 2019 — 150 years later — there’s no new territory left for men to explore, no way to resurrect that feeling of awe, that weight of duty, that deep courage that accompanied the wondrous accomplishments of that time. Continue reading…

BeerBurger closes its Iowa City location

A meal at the North Liberty BeerBurger. — Frankie Schneckloth/Little Village

Published Thursday, July 11

BeerBurger has closed the downtown Iowa City location it opened six months ago. Its North Liberty location, which opened two-and-a-half years ago, will remain open.

John Burchert, CEO of MAiNGREDIENT — which owns BeerBurger — announced the closure in a Facebook post on Wednesday. Burchert didn’t offer any specific reasons for shuttering the restaurant’s second location in his post, and instead referred to “the ever-changing demands of a market and the industry.” Continue reading…

Lights for Liberty vigils planned in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids

Families Belong Together demonstrators march down Iowa Avenue en route to College Green Park in Iowa City. Saturday, June 30, 2018. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Thursday, July 11

On Friday, July 12, the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project and El Trueque Latino Magazine will host Iowa City’s “Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps” in College Green Park at 7 p.m. There will also be a Lights for Liberty vigil in Cedar Rapids, co-hosted by the Center for Worker Justice and Freedom for Immigrants Eastern Iowa, across from the federal courthouse on 2nd Street SE. Both are part of nationwide series of protests against the Trump administration’s policies. Continue reading…

Progress Iowa’s Corn Feed will bring 12 presidential candidates (and corn) to Cedar Rapids

Top row (l to r): John Delaney, Julián Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Tim Ryan, Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper. Bottow row (l to r): Seth Moulton, Marianne Williamson, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bill de Blasio, Pete Buttigieg and Jay Inslee — illustration by Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

Published Friday, July 12

It sometimes seems as if it’s easier to find a Democrat running for president in Iowa than it is to find fresh sweet corn in the state, but both will be plentiful at Progress Iowa’s fifth annual Corn Feed on Sunday.

Progress Iowa is a Des Moines-based nonprofit working to promote progressive political causes throughout the state, and the Corn Feed is its signature annual fundraiser. It always features speakers, attracting politicians and activists from around the country, and in previous years it’s always been held in the Des Moines area. Continue reading…

Current issue: Little Village issue 267


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