This Week in the Village: June 16-22

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

How planting prairie strips on Iowa farms could save soil, water, wildlife and money — in-state and beyond

A field planted with prairie strips in Tama County. — Lynn Betts

Published Tuesday, June 18

A solution to some of the biggest problems facing farmers, and some of the biggest environmental challenges in the state, has deep roots in Iowa’s past.

Roughly 85 percent of Iowa’s 36 million acres were covered with prairie plants when the U.S. frontier pushed into what would become the state of Iowa in the 19th century. Now, less than one-10th of one percent of that 30 million acres of prairie exists. Instead, 30 million of the state’s acres are now devoted to agricultural production, with just two crops — corn and soybeans — covering more than 80 percent of those acres. Being so heavily invested in these crops has massive consequences for the land and water. Continue reading…

The Makers Loft is now selling coffee on the Ped Mall

The walk-up window at the Maker’s Loft on the Ped Mall. — Paul Brennan/Little Village

Published Tuesday, June 18

There’s a new option for coffee on the go on the Ped Mall. The Makers Loft, better known for selling locally produced art and handcrafted items, has opened a walk-up window for those in need of caffeine served quickly, from Wake Up Iowa City coffee to Cobra Verde energy drinks.

“We offer drip coffee, pour-over coffee, cold brew and a few additional cold beverages as well, like ice tea and lemonade,” said Makers Loft co-owner Simeon Talley. “We’ll be adding new drinks periodically, like cream soda.” Continue reading…

‘Feared and revered’: Zen Cohen’s new exhibition at Public Space One explores queer history and cultures

Violeta Luna as Madonna Our lady of the Syncretic Heart with Conchasanta. — Zen Cohen

Published Wednesday, June 19

I’ve had a recurring dream since I was a teenager about an ocean contained in a room. In the dream, I always try to peel back the layers of my experience with the water; to experience it in a more authentic way. I had this dream again for the first time in a long time, and it must be because I’ve been thinking about Zen Cohen’s art.

Cohen, who recently moved to Iowa City from San Francisco, creates in the realms of video, performance art, photography and sound. All have been at play in the ongoing creation of her video and sound installation The Gatekeepers, on display in Iowa City through July 7 at Public Space One. Continue reading…

‘It kicks ass to still be around’: X’s John Doe and Exene Cervenka on song origins, LA punk and their new book

Published Thursday, June 20

X, an original 1977-era punk band, has remained one of my all-time favorites for decades, but I never got to see them until a recent show at the Pageant Theater in St. Louis. It was fitting to watch X in Missouri, the setting for Road House — the craptastic Patrick Swayze vehicle that featured X co-founder (and actor) John Doe as a bad-guy bartender. Vocalist Exene Cervenka also made Missouri her home for a few years during the aughts, before a medical scare brought her back to the support network of friends she developed over the years in Los Angeles. Continue reading…

Shalisa Gladney of RVAP talks relationships, ‘consent culture’ and writing your own rules

Shalisa Gladney, violence prevention specialist at the University of Iowa Women’s Resource and Action Center. — courtesy of Shalisa Gladney

Published Thursday, June 20

I gave Shalisa Gladney a hug when she emerged from her office to greet me at the University of Iowa Women’s Resource and Action Center. During our conversation, much of which focused on relationships and consent, Gladney admitted she is not a hugger — I had neglected to check before going in for an embrace. But she absolved me, saying she’d remembered I was a hugger; she wondered if next time I see her, I’ll remember that she isn’t.

Open and honest communication, we agreed, is a process of learning how to be in a relationship with someone. And what better way to address larger systemic issues than focusing on how to have healthy relationships? Continue reading…

Iowa City wants to address possible discriminatory use of dress codes at bars and restaurants


Published Thursday, June 20

The Iowa City Office of Equity and Human Rights reissued a three-year-old memorandum providing guidance on “Dress code, admittance policies and public accommodations” on Thursday.

“We originally put the memo out [in 2016] because we would hear concerns about places of public accommodation using the dress code as a pretext to discriminate,” Iowa City Equity Director Stefanie Bowers told Little Village. “More recently, in the last three weeks or so, this may be increasing and becoming more common.” Continue reading…

Iowa Board of Regents receives almost meaningless penalty for violating the law in contract talks with UI grad student union

Detail of notice PERB ordered the Iowa Board of Regents to publicly post because of its behavior in COGS contract talks.

Published Friday, June 21

The Board of Regents acted in bad faith and broke the law during contract negotiations with the Campaign to Organize Graduate Students (COGS) in 2016 and 2017, the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) ruled last week.

As punishment for its dishonest and illegal behavior, the Board of Regents will be required to post public notices at the University of Iowa after the fall semester starts, explaining that PERB has ordered the Regents to cease and desist from breaking the law. The Regents were also ordered to pay $1,365 to cover PERB’s expenses in the case. Continue reading…

Five minutes with 19 presidential candidates

Pete Buttigieg: ‘God does not belong to any political party’

Mayor Pete Buttigieg takes the stage at the Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame Celebration in Cedar Rapids, June 9, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Tuesday, June 18

During his first campaign appearance in Iowa City at The Airliner in March, Pete Buttigieg felt the need to address “the question of why a 37-year-old mayor thinks he has any business being in a discussion about the highest office in the land,” as he phrased it. But the time the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, spoke at the Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame celebration on June 9, no one was asking if Buttigieg had any business being there.

Largely unknown outside Indiana before launching his presidential campaign, Buttigieg has attracted a great deal of national media attention and has made impressive gains in early polls in Iowa. Continue reading…

Kamala Harris: ‘I am prepared to make the case for America, and to prosecute the case against Donald Trump’

Sen. Kamala Harris of California, speaking at the 2019 Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame Celebration in Cedar Rapids, June 9, 2019 — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Wednesday, June 19

In her speech at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame celebration, Sen. Kamala Harris repeatedly called out Donald Trump by name, delivering a metaphorical bill of indictment against the president.

“And Iowa, I’m going to tell you, there’s a rap sheet full of evidence to make the case,” the California senator said.

Harris described Trump’s various broken campaign promises as kinds of fraud (healthcare fraud, tax fraud, securities fraud), building to a climax that had the audience applauding: “And then he claims to be the best president we’ve seen in a generation. Well, I say, let’s call Barack Obama, because that’s identity fraud.” Continue reading…

John Delaney: ‘We need to become the party of ideas’

John Delaney at the Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame celebration, Jun. 9, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Thursday, June 20

John Delaney took the stage at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame celebration to the sound of Johnny Cash singing, “I’ve been everywhere.”

“I have been everywhere,” the former Maryland congressman said.

It wasn’t an idle boast. Delaney has visited all 99 counties in Iowa, since he started his run for president almost two years ago. Delaney declared his candidacy in August 2017 — 1,194 days before the 2020 election — “shatter[ing] the mark for the earliest bid in the modern primary era by a non-fringe candidate,” according to Smart Politics. Continue reading…

Jay Inslee: ‘I will make defeating climate change the first, paramount and overwhelming duty of the United States’

Gov. Jay Inslee speaking with an attendee at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame celebration in Cedar Rapids, June 9, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Friday, June 21

There were two things most people attending the Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame celebration knew about Jay Inslee before he took the stage on June 9. First, he’s the governor of Washington state (fewer people were likely aware that he’s in his second term, or that he spent 15 years in Congress before becoming governor). Second, he’s pledged to make fighting climate change the central focus of all his actions, if he’s elected president. Continue reading…

Video: Studio Visit with Kelly Moore

Out this week: Little Village issue 266

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Category: Community/News

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