This Week in the Village: Oct. 27-Nov. 2

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

Linn County Sheriff’s Office collected 42 pounds of prescription drugs during Take Back Day

Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

Published Monday, Oct. 28

On Saturday, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office collected 42 pounds of prescription drugs as part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s nationwide Take Back Day.

The sheriff’s office had three collection sites where people could anonymously drop off expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs. This year, people were encouraged to drop off e-cigarettes and vaping devices for the first time, along with prescription meds. Continue reading…

Phone scam about Social Security reaches Iowa City

Jav Ducker/Little Village

Published Monday, Oct. 28

A recorded message claiming that a person’s Social Security number has been “suspended” is part of the latest phone scam targeting Iowa City-area residents.

The call can come from various numbers — a call to Little Village on Monday morning came from an 888 toll-free number — and features a computer-generated voice claiming to be from “the Department of Social Security Administration.” That’s the first clue it’s a scam, because the agency’s actual name is the United States Social Security Administration (SSA). Continue reading…

Make your Halloween more green by bringing your candy wrappers to Little Village for recycling

Jav Ducker/Little Village

Published Tuesday, Oct. 29

Bring your clean, empty candy wrappers (no melted remains, please) to the Little Village office in downtown Iowa City from Nov. 1-15. We’ll buy the appropriate-sized TerraCycle box and then ship your Halloween detritus to New Jersey for recycling. Our office is located at 623 S Dubuque St, and is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Continue reading…

Letter to the editor: Iowa City’s sidewalk closures favor drivers over pedestrians

Pedestrians walk near the intersection of Burlington and Madison streets in Iowa City. Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Wednesday, Oct. 30

By Donald Baxter, University Heights

Iowa City is on an unending rotating schedule of sidewalk closures due to the corresponding unending construction. It’s too bad that Iowa City seems to have never actually looked at how a progressive, civilized city deals with sidewalk detours. Hint: accommodating pedestrians for construction shouldn’t involve forcing a pedestrian to actually cross a street three times (one of these crossings is un-signalized and drivers ignore their legal responsibilities with abandon). Continue reading…

‘Feast.’ at Riverside is Megan Gogerty at her most visceral and compelling

Megan Gogerty in ‘Feast.’ — S. Benjamin Farrar/Riverside Theatre

Published Wednesday, Oct. 30

Somewhere, I read a likening of Feast. to Game of Thrones — which I thought sounded ridiculous. How could a one-woman, live stage show approximate the visual awe of flying dragons, the vast expanse of bloody battle scenes, the echo of hallowed throne rooms? But as usual, I turned out to be the unimaginative fool. You see, I was envisioning the cinematic, HBO version and forgot all about the books, which I have not read. The feeling of reading a really good book that pulls you all the way into its world of dragons, bloody battle, echoes ringing through hallowed halls and the tenderest, raw emotions of love lost, and failure? That is a perfect approximation of the experience of sitting in the audience of Feast. Continue reading…

ICCT’s ‘Evil Dead: The Musical’ is one hell of a bizarre, wonderful show

‘Evil Dead: The Musical’ runs through Nov. 3. — Emily McKnight/ICCT

Published Friday, Nov. 1

So I have a confession. It’s a doozy. Before this weekend I’d never seen ANY of the Evil Dead films. I know. I know. I thought I was going to see a zombie musical. I pitched it to my husband as a zombie musical. I said, “Hey, wanna come see a zombie musical with me?” He was all, “Of course I do.” And when we arrived he was like, “Babe, Evil Dead isn’t zombies.” I’m like, “It’s not?”

And then he laughed at me. The warm fond laughter of the superior elder, about to watch a sweet summer child experience something bizarre and wonderful. Continue reading…

Beto O’Rourke drops out of the 2020 presidential race

Beto O’Rourke speaks to the Political Party Live overflow crowd at Pig and Porter. Friday, Mar 15, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Friday, Nov. 1

Beto O’Rourke announced on Friday afternoon he is ending his 2020 presidential run.

“Our campaign has always been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly, and acting decisively,” he wrote on Twitter. “In that spirit: I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee.” Continue reading…

Q&As with school board candidates

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. See more profiles here.

Cedar Rapids school board election: Q&A with Maurice Davis

Maurice Davis — photo courtesy of the candidate

Maurice Davis is a program coordinator and business coach for Jane Boyd Community House, a Cedar Rapids nonprofit working to enhance the academic, emotional and social well-being of children and families. He’s lived in Cedar Rapids for seven years.

While Davis doesn’t have kids or family in the CRCSD, he wants to help shape the district for the better. CContinue reading…

Cedar Rapids school board election: Q&A with Rafael Jacobo

Rafael Jacobo, a business analyst at Verizon, is running for a second term representing District 4 of the Cedar Rapids Community School District. He has lived in Cedar Rapids with his family for more than 15 years.

Jacobo has a number of personal connections to the school district. He has two kids currently attending its schools, and his oldest son recently graduated from Washington High. Continue reading…

Cedar Rapids school board election: Q&A with Dexter Merschbrock

Dexter Merschbrock — photo courtesy of the candidate

Dexter Merschbrock, a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, and his wife, Michelle, bought their current home so their two sons would be able to walk to school. Merschbrock’s older son is in fourth grade at Grant Wood Elementary, and his younger son will start kindergarten there next year. Continue reading…

Iowa City school board election: Q&A with Charlie Eastham

Charlie Eastham poses for a portrait outside of High Grounds. Thursday, July 20, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann.

Charlie Eastham wants to bring his longtime experience as a community activist to the Iowa City school board. He retired from Health Care Information Systems at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in 2007, and lives in Iowa City with his wife, Karen Fox.

“Our children, now well into adulthood, attended Longfellow, South East and City High,” Eastham said. “They each tell stories of special teachers, friends and, sometimes surprising, experiences during their school years.” Continue reading…

City council candidate profiles

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Iowa City Council candidate Janice Weiner on her career in the State Department, becoming involved in public service and the issues facing the city

Janice Weiner, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

After a career as a foreign service officer for the U.S. State Department, Janice Weiner returned to her hometown of Iowa City and is now running for the city council.

Weiner is one of three candidates for the two at-large council seats that will be on the ballot in the Nov. 5 election. Mayor Jim Throgmorton and Councilmember Rockne Cole, who currently hold those two seats, both decided not to seek reelection. Continue reading…

Cedar Rapids City Council candidate Sofia Mehaffey discusses food insecurity, improving accessibility and making more voices heard

Photo of Sofia Mehaffey courtesy of her campaign Facebook page.

Sofia Mehaffey is the director of community health and nutrition programs at Horizons: A Family Services Alliance, where she oversees its large Meals on Wheels program. The program, which provides fresh and nutritious food to seniors and others in need, served over 300,000 meals last year.

Mehaffey is involved with various organizations in the community, including the city’s Wellbeing Advisory Committee and Family Promise of Linn County, and she is completing a term on the Linn-Mar School Board. Continue reading…

Iowa City Council candidate Megan Alter on the needs of the south side, equity issues and being a decision-maker

Megan Alter, Thursday, Oct 10, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Like many people, Megan Alter first came to Iowa City to attend the University of Iowa. While in graduate school, she got to know the city, and after completing her Ph.D., decided to make Iowa City her home.

Alter has been active with various community groups for many year, but it was the national election in 2016 that first made her think about running for office. Continue reading…

Cedar Rapids City Council candidate Scott Overland discusses strengthening neighborhoods and protecting the urban environment

Scott Overland — photo courtesy of the candidate

Incumbent Scott Overland is running to represent District 2 on the Cedar Rapids City Council for a second term. Overland is vice president of investments at Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust and is also a trustee of the Indian Nature Creek Center.

During his first term on city council, Overland wanted to work on a bigger project in addition to the usual issues that come up in city council. The Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC) was Overland’s big project. Continue reading…

Iowa City Council candidate Laura Bergus on the problem of affordability, the climate crisis and creating the correct process

Laura Bergus, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Laura Bergus is a lifelong resident of Iowa City, and she’s been fascinated by the city council since she was a teenager — her first job was helping to televise council meetings.

Now an attorney and managing partner of the Hayek, Moreland, Smith & Bergus law firm, Bergus said she wants to utilize her ability to establish common ground that she’s honed doing mediation, and her understanding of the importance of good process in creating good outcomes, as part of the city council. Continue reading…

Cedar Rapids City Council candidate Ann Poe discusses economic development, flood protection and the importance of listening to the community

Ann Poe — Screengrab taken from a live stream of the Linn County League of Women Voters forum on Sept. 26

Ann Poe is running for her third term on the Cedar Rapids City Council. The at-large councilmember said it was her experience as a community liaison for the Rebuild Iowa Office following the 2008 floods that first inspired her to run for city council eight years ago.

Poe said she’ll take what she learned over the last eight years and “push forward” if reelected. Continue reading…

Cedar Rapids City Council candidate Patrick Loeffler talks about bringing his experience as a business owner and union leader to city government

Patrick Loeffler — provided by the candidate

Patrick Loeffler, a labor union leader and small business owner, said he’s running for the Cedar Rapids City Council to help others. It’s the same reason he and his wife, Kymm, opened Corner Store Apothecary & More, he explained.

The Czech Village store, which opened in February 2017, sells CBD oil and hemp-based products. Loeffler has intractable epilepsy and uses CBD oil to control his seizure activity. Continue reading…

Current issue: Little Village issue 273

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