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This Week in the Village: Sept. 15-21

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

Yola has walked through fire — literally — to become a paradigm-shifting country star

Yola, photographed by Alysse Gafkjen

Published Tuesday, Sept. 17

Walk Through Fire isn’t just a metaphor about perseverance. The title to the 2019 debut full-length from Yola also refers to a life-changing house fire she survived. In 2014, the British singer had been handling a bioethanol burner with a faulty fuel canister that, unbeknownst to her, leaked throughout the room and eventually ignited.

It was at that moment that Yola realized she was truly happy, and she says she thought, I’ll take my life right now — plus fire — any day of the week! “I just started laughing and that took me out of my shock.” Continue reading…

California announces ban on travel to Iowa, because of Iowa’s new ban on Medicaid paying for gender confirmation procedures

Illustration by Jav Ducker

Published Tuesday, Sept. 17

California will impose a ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Iowa starting on Oct. 4, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Friday. The travel ban is a response to a bill Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law in May, which prohibits the use of Medicaid funds for gender reassignment surgery that doctors have determined to be medically necessary.

In 2016, California passed a law restricting travel “to states that enact a law after June 26, 2015 that voids or repeals an existing state or local protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.” Continue reading…

Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker endorses Kimberly Graham for U.S. Senate

Kimberly Graham. — photo courtesy of Kimberly Graham for U.S. Senate campaign

Published Tuesday, Sept. 17

Democrat Kimberly Graham picked up an important endorsement in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate when Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker announced on Tuesday that he is supporting her candidacy.

In May, Graham became the first Democrat to announce a challenge to Sen. Joni Ernst, but her campaign was overshadowed when the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC) endorsed another candidate, Theresa Greenfield, on June 6. The DSCC endorsement came just three days after Greenfield, a Des Moines-area real estate executive, announced her candidacy. Continue reading…

Riverside’s ‘Uncle Vanya’ achieves a moment of peace

Tim Budd (L) and Katy Hanh in Riverside Theatre’s ‘Uncle Vanya.’ — Rob Merritt/Riverside Theatre

Published Tuesday, Sept. 17

The last time I saw a production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya was in 1991 in Moscow. It was good. Last weekend, Riverside Theater opened its 39th season with a new translation (by Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky) of Uncle Vanya.

Directed by Adam Knight, Riverside’s production is outstanding. Continue reading…

Get thee to a theater! 10 can’t-miss local productions this month

Katy Hahn (L) and Jessica Link in Riverside Theatre’s ‘Uncle Vanya.’ — Rob Merritt/Riverside Theatre

Published Wednesday, Sept. 18

With the variety of offerings in Eastern Iowa, you won’t have to go far to find something for date night, the whole family or just a quiet evening for one. This seems particularly true in September. Continue reading…

Iowa City stand-ups take comedy seriously

Clara Reynen takes the Yacht Club stage for Comedy Mondays on Sept. 9, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Wednesday, Sept. 18

Condensation forms on tables in the Iowa City Yacht Club’s basement as the heavy late-summer air clashes with the building’s rapidly aging air conditioner. The machine kicks on periodically, requiring the volume of conversation to increase by at least a quarter of a shout.

It’s three minutes till 9 on a Monday night, and a combination of comedians and comedy fans have gathered in clusters around the room. Those sitting near the green- and red-lit stage chat and sip drinks, while others in the back flip through leather-bound notebooks or scroll through the notes app on their phone. Continue reading…

Iowa City’s PATV is merging with Public Space One

PATV, Sept. 18, 2019. — Jav Ducker/Little Village

Published Wednesday, Sept. 18

After 40 years of bringing Iowa City community-based television programming, Channel 18 will go dark, as Public Access Television (PATV) heads in a new direction.

PATV is merging with another long-time local cultural institution, Public Space One (PS1) to “form one, integrated non-profit organization designed to provide enhanced community access to a wide variety of media, digital production, and creative support services across Johnson County,” according to written statement issued by the two organizations on Wednesday. Continue reading…

Prost! A guide to local Oktoberfest beers and celebrations

Munich-style beers brewed locally this season. (Clockwise, starting in upper left corner: Oktobot by Lion Bridge Brewing Co.; Festbier by Big Grove Brewery; Iowa Fest by Iowa Brewing Company; Hawktoberfest by Backpocket Brewing; Oktoberfest by Millstream Brewing Co.; Oktobot 3000 by Lion Bridge Brewing Col; Gable by SingleSpeed Brewing Co; Marzen by ReUnion Brewery)

Published Thursday, Sept. 19

Early fall may only be the second most popular time of the year for nuptials, but it was a wedding that kickstarted one of the world’s favorite autumnal traditions: Oktoberfest.

On Oct. 12, 1810, Bavarian Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese, and the people of Munich, Germany celebrated this joyous union with days of drinking, feasting and merriment. The party was such a hit that Bavarians decided to restage it year after year. For over two centuries — save for times of war, plague and economic distress — Oktoberfest has taken over the fairgrounds and streets of Munich in the 16 to 18 days leading up to the first Sunday in October (this year, Sept. 21-Oct. 6). Continue reading…

FilmScene organizers are ‘kids in the candy store’ ahead of The Chauncey’s debut

The FilmScene lobby in the new Chauncey Building, a couple weeks ahead of its grand opening. — courtesy of Andrew Sherburne

Published Thursday, Sept. 19

On Sept. 20-22, Iowa City residents will have the opportunity to attend the grand opening weekend of FilmScene’s new location in the recently raised Chauncey building. The Chauncey is FilmScene’s second space, located off of Gilbert Street in downtown Iowa City; FilmScene will keep their original Ped Mall cinema open as well. The Chauncey will feature three theater spaces, as well as a bowling alley, a hotel and apartments. Continue reading…

Linn-Mar High School quartet to perform with the (almost) Beatles and the (sort of) Rolling Stones at the Paramount Theatre

From left to right: Kit Iyer (violin), Allie Schumacher (viola), Alex Drahos (cello), Kara Lindsay (violin) — courtesy of Linn-Mar High School orchestra director Joshua Reznicow

Published Thursday, Sept. 18

Four Linn-Mar High School orchestra students will help two nationally-renowned tribute bands recreate the ’60s, when Beatles vs. Stones — A Musical Showdown comes to Cedar Rapids next week.

Seniors Kara Lindsey, Kit Iyer, Allie Schumacher and junior Alex Drahos will join Abbey Road, a Beatles tribute band, and Satisfaction, a Rolling Stones tribute band, at the Paramount Theatre for the show’s only Iowa performance this year, on Thursday, Sept. 26. The quartet will be featured on seven songs, including “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude,” and “Ruby Tuesday.” Continue reading…

From the ‘naughtiness factor’ to a search for power, erotic fantasies follow a formula

Illustration by Gretchen Thayer

Published Friday, Sept. 20

Think back to the first time you felt sexy feelings. I’m pretty sure my first “tingly” thoughts involved watching David Bowie in Labyrinth, with his very impressive bulge. I also distinctly remember sneaking a peek at softcore porn on staticy channels like HBO or Cinemax late at night. (Think of the TV screen in Poltergeist, but instead of a swirly ghost hand suddenly appearing amidst the fuzz, my eyes were peeled for boobie shots).

These early experiences — often characterized by curiosity, titillation and testing boundaries — can serve as models for our future fantasies. Continue reading…

And then there were 19: Mayor Bill de Blasio quits the 2020 presidential race

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking at the Iowa Democratic Hall of Fame celebration in Cedar Rapids. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Friday, Sept. 20

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped out of the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Friday morning. The mayor made his announcement on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election,” de Blasio told the show’s hosts. “And it’s clearly not my time.” Continue reading…

The opening of The Chauncey will change how people park at the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp

Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp in January 2017 — Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

Published Friday, Sept. 20

The opening of The Chauncey, Iowa City’s newest high-rise building, is changing the rules at the city’s Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp, the city’s Transportation Services Department announced on Friday morning. Continue reading…

Your Village: Where did The Chauncey get its name?

The Chauncey on Gilbert Street in downtown Iowa City, September 2019. — Jason Smith/Little Village

Published Saturday, Sept. 21

What kind of name is Chauncey for a building? —Anonymous, via the Your Village feature on LV’s homepage.

In most cities, The Chauncey would be a wonderful or terrible name, depending on personal preference, but in Iowa City it is historic. Like the park and the parking ramp next to it, the new 15-story mixed-use building borrows its name from Chauncey Swan, who’s been called “the father of Iowa City.” Continue reading…

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