Area Tidbits

Announcing the 7th Annual Iowa Women's Landowner Conference

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WILLIAMSBURG, IA (May 20, 2019) - We are happy to announce the Seventh Annual Iowa Women's Landowner Conference on June 20th, 2019 in Brooklyn, Iowa. This conference is brought to you by the Iowa County Women Land and Legacy (WLL) and Iowa Land Sales & Farm Management.

The conference will be held on Thursday, June 20th at the Michael J. Manatt Community Center in Brooklyn, Iowa. Registration begins at 7:30 am. Various speakers are scheduled throughout the day, concluding around 3:45 pm. The conference fee is $30 ($35 if you pay at the door). Breakfast, snacks, lunch, handouts and door prizes are all included.

The conference is open to everyone, but is specifically tailored to women. Since women own or co-own over half of Iowa's farmland, they have the real potential and ability to transform Iowa's landscape and farm communities in significant and positive ways. Every effort is made to target the educational needs of women in Iowa, focusing on their empowerment and encouraging local contacts and relationships. Farming is a family business, and let's face it, a stressful one in our current economic climate. This year's session will cover Farm Stress & Solutions. "Distress or De-Stress," it's your call!

Over the past six years, the conference has addressed a variety of relevant topics. This year's agenda includes Lesley Kelly, a Canadian Farmer/Blogger and co-founder of the "Do More Foundation." Lesley is a wife, mother, farmer, marketer and huge advocate for the mental health of farmers. In addition to telling her story, Lesley will serve as the moderator for the panel discussion at the end of the day. Ryan Drollette, Farm Management Specialist with ISU extension and outreach, will lead a session on Leasing and Communication strategies. Dr. Diane Rohlman, Director of Ag Safety & Health at the University of Iowa, will round out the morning, discussing how to identify and cope with farm stress. The afternoon sessions will include Dr. Mike Rosmann, farmer & Psychologist. Dr. Rosmann will present on stress management strategies in today's farm economy while highlighting real life scenarios and outcomes he has witnessed. Sue Martin, guest commentator on Market to Market and President of Ag & Investment Services Inc, will lead a discussion entitled "Learning from the past to lead us into the future." We will close out the day with a panel Q&A that will include the previous presenters, along with farmer/tenants, (Andrew Axmear & Leo Rudolphi), a landlord (Regan Holub), and an ag lender (Angie Treptow with Farm Credit Services of America). For the seventh year in a row, Mike Pearson will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

Faye Gerig from the Iowa County Women Land and Legacy team co-hosting the event shared, "We, as a planning committee, have been very fortunate in attracting high caliber speakers to this annual conference. This year again, we have a whole new slate of passionate professionals, willing to share their experiences and expertise. Conference attendees won't be disappointed." A past conference participant raved, "This was my first year attending the conference. I was so impressed with the speakers and their willingness to stay and answer questions one on one during breaks and after the conference. I got answers for my personal situation and left knowing what my next steps were. I will definitely attend again!" Other reviews consistently praise the food, the content, the local presenters, and the professionalism of the conference. Whether you are coming with an agenda or hoping to make new friends and connections, this conference is worth the investment.

To reserve your seat at the conference, register online by visiting http://iowalandsales.com/. Or you may register with Lynn at 319-668-1052 or email lgahring@iastate.edu. Registration fees may be paid in advance by check or credit card or on the day of the event by check. Registration fees paid the day of the event are $35. For planning purposes, please register by June 14th, 2019.

 

 

Dubuque Pools Scheduled to Open This Saturday

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Weather permitting, Dubuque's Sutton and Flora swimming pools are scheduled to open on Saturday, May 25, with special hours of operation until June 8 when regular pool hours begin.

Pool hours for the Memorial Day weekend (Saturday, May 25, through Monday, May 27) include adult swim/water walking from 11 a.m. -1 p.m., and open swim from 1-5 p.m. Please visit www.cityofdubuque.org/pools or call 563-589-4263 for pre-season pool schedules from Tuesday, May 28, through Friday, June 7.

Regular pool hours begin Saturday, June 8. Regular open swim hours for Flora Pool are Sunday through Thursday, 1 to 5 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Regular open swim hours for Sutton Pool are Monday through Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Adult lap swim and water walking hours vary for Flora and Sutton pools; please visit www.cityofdubuque.org/pools or call 563-589-4263 for information.

Swim passes are available for purchase at the Leisure Services office at 2200 Bunker Hill Rd. A household pass is $135 for residents and $162 for nonresidents; plus $6 per person above six persons. Youth passes are $50 for residents and $60 for nonresidents. Adult passes are $85 for residents and $102 for nonresidents. Season swim passes are now individual photo ID cards. New pass purchases require a photo taken and ID card printed by the Leisure Services Department. Renewals may be paid for by mail or in person at the Leisure Services office at 2200 Bunker Hill Rd. These passes will admit individuals during the period of May 25, 2019, through winter/spring season of 2020. Low-income passes are available; must present valid documents to obtain discount.

 

NASCAR and its fan history

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Millions of racing enthusiasts tune in to watch their favorite NASCAR drivers every weekend. Whether filling the stands in person or watching on television, NASCAR fans are drawn to the action and the sport's storied history.

It is believed that what would ultimately evolve into car racing began during Prohibition times when "runners," or those who delivered moonshine, souped up their cars to evade federal tax agents. These runners took pride in evading the law and would hold informal races to determine who had the fastest car and greatest racing chops. Eventually the need for smuggling booze waned, and car racing became a more respectable sport.

On February 21, 1948, the National Association for Stock Car Racing was officially incorporated, although the first official NASCAR race took place six days earlier. The sport would go on to be one of the most popular spectator activities in North America and is now a multibillion dollar industry.

NASCAR owes its beginnings to mechanic and auto-repair shop owner William "Bill" France, Sr. of Washington, D.C. France became interested in racing after relocating to Daytona Beach, Fla., which he discovered was a hotbed for racing enthusiasts. France involved himself in racing cars and promotion. France felt there should be a sanctioning body to govern the sport, so in 1947, he organized a meeting in Florida to discuss the future of stock car racing and conceived the notion of NASCAR with other members of the racing community.

As NASCAR amassed its legions of fans, it also helped solidify the star status of many drivers. Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt Sr. (and later Junior), Jimmie Johnson, and Jeff Gordon are just a few of the notable drivers who have torn up tracks. In 1998, amid 50th anniversary celebrations, NASCAR put together a list of the organization's 50 Greatest Drivers. Living members of the group were honored during pre-race festivities for the 1998 Daytona 500.

NASCAR has built its reputation not only on quality races, but also through sponsorship. In the history of NASCAR, there have been only three naming rights partners: RJ Reynolds, Sprint/Nextel and Monster Energy, which took the reins in 2017.

Those unfamiliar with NASCAR may think that the NASCAR season never ends. However, there is a defined season. The race season, comprising 38 races, starts in February and ends in November. Races are conducted on privately owned race tracks, all of which are asphalt or concrete. Although NASCAR has southern roots, tracks were built in California and Las Vegas to tap into newer audiences.

NASCAR has been around for decades, and new stars and fans are made each year.

 

How Memorial Day and Veterans Day differ from each other

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Memorial Day and Veterans Day each honor the military, though the two holidays are not the same.

Memorial Day, which is celebrated annually on the last Monday in May, honors the brave men and women who lost their lives while serving in the American military. Many communities host memorial ceremonies honoring their fallen soldiers on Memorial Day, ensuring such soldiers' bravery and sacrifices are never forgotten. While many people now view Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, the weekend should not be celebrated without also pausing to reflect on and recognize the military personnel who lost their lives in defense of freedom and the American way of life. 

Veterans Day is celebrated annually on November 11 and recognizes all men and women who have served in the military. Veterans Day coincides with Remembrance Day, which is celebrated by the Commonwealth of Nations, an association of 53 member states with connections to the British Empire. Though Veterans Day and Remembrance Day are each celebrated on November 11, the latter recognizes armed forces members who died in the line of duty, making it more similar to Memorial Day than Veterans Day. It's not uncommon for people to recognize fallen soldiers on Veterans Day, but many use the holiday to express their appreciation to existing veterans.

 

Relay For Life Ceremony to Honor Cancer Survivors and Remember Those Lost

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A special Luminaria Ceremony will be held during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Dubuque to remember those lost to cancer and honor those who have survived. Luminaria will be lit in Washington Park on Friday, May 31st at approximately 9:30 PM, to represent these individuals.

Anyone desiring to make a luminaria donation may do so by visiting the Dubuque Relay For Life website: www.relayforlife.org/dubuque. Each luminaria is a $10 donation on-line, or $5 if printed and mailed in advance of the event or purchased on the day of the event.

"Each luminaria represents the life of someone who has battled cancer. It will be a beautiful sight when all the bags are illuminated around Washington Park," said Kirsten Weidemann, Co-Event Chair. "The Luminaria Ceremony is a moving way to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to pay tribute to cancer survivors."

Relay For Life celebrates people who have battled cancer, remembers loved ones lost, and provides participants with an opportunity to fight back against the disease - all aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society's vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

Prior to the Luminaria Ceremony, cancer survivors are invited to attend the Survivor Dinner and Celebration, from 4:00 to 5:30 PM, followed by an Opening Ceremony at 6:00 PM, that includes a Dove Release, National Anthem, Welcome, Sponsor Recognition and a presentation from Unity Point/Finley and East Dubuque Nitrogen.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

 

Iowa Master Naturalists Course

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Registration is now open for the Summer 2019 Iowa Master Naturalists (IMN) course, which will be hosted by Swiss Valley Nature Center near Dubuque, IA.

Classes begin Monday, June 10, and will meet every Monday evening from 6:00-9:00 PM through Aug 26. Field trips will be held on Saturdays.

The mission of this 12-week course is to educate a corps of adult volunteers about Iowa's environment and natural history, thus empowering these volunteers to promote appreciation and stewardship of the natural world in their own communities.

There are currently Master Naturalist programs in more than 25 states. IMN has been holding courses in Iowa since 2016, and currently boasts over a hundred graduates who have collectively logged over 3500 volunteer hours.

The first step in certification as an Iowa Master Naturalist requires 40 hours of basic training. After graduation from basic training, students complete the certification process by performing 40 hours of volunteer service within the subsequent year.

IMN basic training consists of 12 three-hour units, each of which focuses on a different aspect of Iowa's natural heritage such as mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, aquatic invertebrates, plants and fungi as well as units on astronomy and Iowa geology. The classes are led by local experts. The cost is $250.00, which covers 40 hours of instruction and all materials.

For more information, or to register, go to iowamasternaturalists.org.

Iowa Master Naturalists is a 501c3 non-profit.

 

University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Center for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE) Launches Dubuque County –“Go Solar” Group Buy Program

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Cedar Falls, Iowa, 05/13/2019 - The University of Northern Iowa Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE) in partnership with the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association (ISETA), Eagle Point Solar and Van Meter is excited to announce the launch of the Dubuque County (including the surrounding areas of East Dubuque, Manchester and Edgewood) - Go Solar Group Buy Program. The program is designed to provide businesses and residents with educational seminars to inform and promote the cost-saving and sustainable benefits of solar technology and provide property owners the opportunity to invest in lower cost solar installations through a limited time county-wide volume-purchasing program.

"We are very excited to announce the launch of the Dubuque County - Go Solar Group Buy Program. Having recently completed this program in Black Hawk County, we felt the Dubuque and surrounding area would be a perfect fit for this educational program given the rapid increase in solar installations in the area." said Kamyar Enshayan, UNI-CEEE Director. "A county-wide solar group buy program just makes financial and environmental sense. The more people who purchase solar, the more we all can reduce the cost through a volume-purchasing program. At CEEE, we are devoted to helping promote and educate the public on the benefits of using renewable solar energy to offset energy expenses and reduce our carbon footprint. Our free program will offer 14 different seminar dates, with various time slots and locations in Dubuque, East Dubuque, Manchester and many of the smaller surrounding communities. Anyone interested in learning more about the benefits of solar can easily find a date, time and location which works for their schedule," stated Enshayan.
Eric Giddens, CEEE Energy Program Manager stated, "The use of solar technology from residential, commercial, agricultural and municipal has dramatically increased over the past several years. It's amazing to learn how much money these systems can save a family or business owner on their energy costs, not to mention the positive environmental impacts in helping to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Additionally, over 70% of the total cost of these systems may be offset via tax credits, equipment depreciation, and energy grants. The time to "Go Solar" has come, and we're eager to help everyone make the transition."

"It's a perfect match of partnerships for a group buy program; educators, suppliers and builders. Being headquartered in Dubuque, we are glad to be a partner in this program to educate and promote the economic savings and environmental benefits of solar. We are eager to meet and work with many of our local friends and neighbors," stated Larry Steffen, VP of Sales for Eagle Point Solar.

To learn more about the Dubuque County - Go Solar Group Buy Program or to RSVP for a FREE seminar, visit: https://ceee.uni.edu/GoSolar. All Dubuque county (including the surrounding areas of East Dubuque, Manchester and Edgewood) homeowners and commercial property owners are invited to attend.

About CEEE - The Center for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE) creates opportunities for UNI students, faculty and staff to work with community leaders to arrive at evidence-based, solution-oriented responses to the problems they wish to address. We offer technical assistance, educational programs, and leadership in energy conservation and renewable energy, environmental conservation and community-based agriculture. The CEEE serves Iowa cities, counties, school districts, teachers, farmers, businesses, elected officials, state agencies, community leaders, and citizen organizations. For more information, visit https://ceee.uni.edu/GoSolar

About ISETA | The Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association (ISETA) is a professional organization dedicated to excellence in safety, quality of workmanship and technical standards for the benefit of the photovoltaic industry and its clients in the state of Iowa through public policy, public relations and education. For more information, visit www.iowaseta.org

About Eagle Point Solar | Since 2010, Eagle Point Solar been committed to the installation and deployment of solar photovoltaic systems throughout the Midwest. As the area's largest installer with more than 600 installations and 17 MW of power in the field, Eagle Point Solar has solutions for residential, commercial, agricultural, municipal, educational and utility scale projects. Eagle Point Solar is headquartered in Dubuque, IA, with additional offices in Cedar Rapids, IA, Davenport, IA, Canton, IL and Springfield, IL. For more information, visit www.eaglepointsolar.com.

About Van Meter Inc. | Headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Van Meter is an award-winning workplace and Iowa's largest distributor. The company sells more than 800 brands of electrical and mechanical products to contractor, industrial and commercial customers nationwide, as well as internationally. Van Meter's offering encompasses lighting, data communications, utility, automation, power transmission, renewable energy, core electrical components and more. To learn more about Van Meter, visit www.vanmeterinc.com

 

Tips for grad party planners

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Graduation is a milestone moment worthy of celebration. Whether newly minted graduates will be pursuing further education after donning their caps and gowns or embarking on their lives as professionals, come commencement season, graduates and their families should pause to celebrate and recognize the hard work it took for grads to earn their degrees.

Graduation parties provide perfect opportunities for grads to unwind and celebrate their achievements. People tasked with planning such festivities can heed the following tips to make sure the party is one grads won't soon forget.

• Personalize the affair. Much like birthday parties, graduation parties are celebrating a particular guest of honor. As a result, planners should not hesitate to personalize graduation parties so they reflect the grad who's being honored. If the guest of honor just earned his or her law degree, order a cake in the shape of Lady Justice. Planners tasked with honoring college grads on their way to medical school can ask guests to don scrubs or white coats. Such personal touches can add fun to the festivities while still honoring the new grad.

• Ask grads before devising the guest list. Since the day is all about the recent graduate, let him or her provide input about the guest list. Some grads may be uncomfortable serving as the focal point of a large soirée, while others may prefer family gatherings or less formal affairs with only friends. The goal of the party is to celebrate the new graduate, so make sure they're comfortable with who is in attendance. If grads choose a friend-heavy guest list, plan a dinner out with family on another night.

• Invite teachers. Some graduates form strong bonds with teachers who helped them get through difficult coursework or provided invaluable advice during their academic careers. Make sure these people, who may include teachers past and present, are invited to the party, and recognize their role in helping the guest of honor achieve his or her academic and professional goals.

• Speak with other parents/planners. Graduation season is a social time of year. Planners and parents can speak with one another to ensure that parties are not scheduled on the same day. This allows all graduates to enjoy their moment in the sun and ensures friends won't miss the chance to celebrate one another's accomplishments. Planners and parents can even coordinate parties together if graduates express a desire to do so.

 

This year’s family-friendly movies

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An afternoon or evening at the movies is an entertaining way for families to spend time together. Fortunately for moviegoing families, there are plenty of family-friendly options on the horizon for 2019.

Many highly anticipated kids' movies are premiering in 2019, including some expected sequels as well as new options for film fans. Here's a look at some of the films coming to a screen near you.

• "Dumbo": Next in line for Disney's new live-action release schedule, "Dumbo" follows the tale of a dad and his kids who must care for a newborn circus elephant with oversized ears who's destined to be a star.

• "Missing Link": Mr. Link is a surprisingly smart yet silly beast who is the last living remnant of human's primitive ancestry. He's on a quest to find rumored distant relatives and enlists the help of others along the way.

• "POKEMON Detective Pikachu": Ryan Reynolds voices the titular character of this movie that's partly inspired by Sherlock Holmes.

• "Aladdin": This marks a Disney remake of another film from its classic animated library. Will Smith steps into the role of the Genie, so there's bound to be some laughs throughout the adventure.

• "The Secret Life of Pets 2": This movie follows the life pets lead after their humans go to work and school each day.

• "The Lion King": Set in the African savannah, this retelling of the 1994 Disney hit finds James Earl Jones reprising his famous role of Mufasa from the animated classic.

• "Abominable": DreamWorks Animation is behind this film about a group of teens who want to reunite an abominable snowman with his family.

• "The Addams Family": This computer animated comedy is loyal to the original comics and is sure to be a classic in its own right.

• "Frozen 2": More adventures are in store for sisters Elsa and Anna as they live life in Arendelle.

 

Agriculture and the economy

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Though it's easy to look at the tech industry and think this increasingly influential sector is what makes the world go round, something closer to the very core of the Earth may be what's driving your economy. 

The agricultural sector plays a strategic role in a nation's economic development and prosperity. From the earliest days, agriculture has been heralded as playing a crucial role in North American culture. Farmers who grow produce and raise livestock for meats and other products have long exemplified what it means to work hard and take initiatives to be self-sufficient.

The symbiotic nature of agriculture and the economy is noticeable when examining the ups and downs of each. This is because food production and the potential of agriculture extends beyond the fields and local food stands. These resources impact supply chains and other markets. A strong agriculture base influences other employment sectors like food manufacturing, biotechnology, hospitality, machinery building, and much more, while a weak agriculture can adversely affect those sectors.

While it can be difficult for residents of developed nations to visualize agriculture's effect, one only needs to turn to impoverished and developing nations to see just how big an impact agriculture can have on an economy. Agriculture provides food and raw materials, eventually creating demand for goods produced in non-agricultural sectors. Also, food provides nutrition that can serve as the foundation of a healthy nation. Earning a living in agriculture strengthens purchasing power, which fuels other markets. Eventually, farming can pave the way for development, including roads, markets, shipping services, exporting, and many other sectors.

Agriculture is an important economic building block. An especially important sector, the agricultural industry, when supported, can contribute greatly to sustained economic growth.

 

How color can affect your garden

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Flower gardens can add color and awe-inspiring appeal to a property. The National Gardening Association notes that gardeners can find nearly every color of the spectrum in flowering perennials. So whether you prefer soft pink, are partial to bright red or want to relax in a garden and gaze at something deep blue, chances are you'll find a perennial to tickle your fancy.

The NGA offers the following breakdown of colors to help gardeners learn how their gardens can set the mood they're looking for.

Bright colors
A garden full of bright colors like red, orange, magenta, and yellow can provide a landscape with vigor and energy. The NGA notes that brightly colored flowers can withstand especially bright sunshine, meaning gardeners can marvel at their appearance even when the sun might be adversely affecting other plants and flowers.

Pastel colors
Pastels, which include soft pink, powder blue, lavender, and peach, create a tranquil feeling in a garden. This makes pastel perfect for those who want their gardens to be a relaxing, peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The NGA notes that pastels may look washed out in the midday sun, so they might be best enjoyed early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Complementary colors
Complementary colors are those that are opposite one another on the color wheel. Orange and blue are examples of complementary colors. According to the NGA, complementary colors can add creative energy and vitality to a garden.

Harmonious colors
These colors are those that are next to each other on the color wheel, such as orange and red. The NGA recommends harmonious colors for gardeners looking to create a unifying feel in their gardens without resorting to a monochromatic color scheme. Harmonious colors give off a gentle feeling that can make for a relaxing garden atmosphere.

Monochromatic colors
Monochromatic gardens can be awe-inspiring even though they stick to a single color and don't provide an array of awe-inspiring colors. The NGA notes that gardeners with monochromatic gardens make them interesting by using plants of various sizes and shapes.

When planting a garden, gardeners can choose whichever color scheme they prefer. To learn more about the effects of color on a garden, visit the National Gardening Association website at www.garden.org.

 

Apply Now for City of Dubuque Large Neighborhood Grants

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The City of Dubuque and the Dubuque Community Development Advisory Commission are now accepting competitive applications for the Large Neighborhood Grant Program.

The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on Friday, June 14, 2019. Information on how to apply, guidelines, and applications are available at www.cityofdubuque.org/neighborhoods. The maximum grant award is $3,000.

The Neighborhood Large Grant Program is designed to support projects undertaken by neighborhood associations and other non-profit organizations to support the empowerment of residents to address needs and opportunities to make their neighborhoods more livable. It is intended to support neighborhood development and provide a direct benefit to low/moderate income individuals or neighborhoods. Funding priorities are for projects which identify and/or build on neighborhood strengths and assets, address needs of low-and-moderate income residents, support neighborhood development and improve quality of life and projects that support efforts to make Dubuque a more equitable and inclusive community.

Applicants are encouraged to attend a grant workshop to receive additional information on the grant program. The workshop will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at the American Trust Program Room,1st Floor, Carnegie Stout Public Library, 360 W. 11th Street, Dubuque.

For additional information, contact Neighborhood Development Specialist Jerelyn O'Connor at joconnor@cityofdubuque.org or 563-589-4110.

 

Klostermann Named APWA Top Ten Public Works Leader of the Year

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The American Public Works Association (APWA) has named City of Dubuque Public Works Director John Klostermann as one of the top ten public works leaders of 2019.

According to the APWA, the Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year program seeks to inspire excellence and dedication in public service by recognizing the outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals and officials, from both the public and private sectors. The primary focus of the award is on career service to the public works profession rather than on any one single event or project.

"John is well-respected throughout our organization, our community, and our state for his knowledge and dedication," said Dubuque City Manager Mike Van Milligen. "He leads by example and his commitment to public service and our community is truly admirable. I'm so glad the APWA chose to acknowledge him with this national recognition."

Klostermann joined the City of Dubuque Public Works Department in 1975 and has since held a series of positions with progressively more responsibilities. He was appointed public works director in 2016. Over the course of his career, Klostermann has taken on statewide leadership roles in the field of public works. He is a member of the American Public Works Association, the APWA Iowa Chapter, and the Water Environment Association. He was a member of the APWA Iowa Chapter board from 1999-2004, serving as president in 2003, and was named the APWA Iowa Chapter's Leader of the Year in 2004. In October 2017, Klostermann was awarded the APWA Iowa Chapter's Stan Ring Award, the highest award bestowed upon an Iowa chapter member.

As public works director, Klostermann is responsible for the maintenance of Dubuque's floodwall and levee system and for the operation of the pumping and gates that are an integral part of Dubuque's flood protection system. He is responsible for maintaining Dubuque's streets, sanitary sewers, and storm sewer system. He is also responsible for all the City residential refuse and recycling collection, fleet maintenance, and operation of the landfill.

Klostermann has been instrumental in the evolution and expansion of Dubuque's public works department throughout his career. Some specific examples include his involvement with the creation of a paid public works apprenticeship program, the development of the City's annual asphalt overlay program, initial purchases of compressed natural gas (CNG) powered vehicles, the construction of a salt storage facility, the construction of a new landfill cell, the maintenance of "green" alleys with permeable pavers, and the expansion of the City's electronics recycling program.

Past APWA President and 2017 Top Ten Winner Larry Stevens will present Klostermann with a plaque at 6 p.m. at the Monday, May 20, Dubuque City Council meeting in the Historic Federal Building at 350 W. Sixth St. The presentation will coincide with National Public Works Week, May 19-25.

 

How to approach sibling rivalries

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Many parents dream that their children will grow up to be lifelong friends. That happens quite often, but typically not without a few bumps along the way. 

Siblings disagree from time to time, and sibling rivalry is a part of growing up and charting one's course in the family unit. However, parents can take steps to avoid sibling rivalries developing between their children.

Children routinely test their boundaries and their places within their families, vying for attention from parents or other caregivers, especially when they become a brother or sister for the first time. A first-born child who went from being the sole focus of his parents' attention may struggle to adjust when another child is welcomed into the family.

Sibling rivalry also occurs because young children may not be able to fully process their emotions as soundly as adults. Kids may not recognize that a sibling is not a threat; as a result, they may act out reactively instead of thinking and choosing a more productive way of behaving. According to Dr. Gail Gross, a researcher and educator with a Ph.D. in Psychology, competitive or aggressive behavior could set the course for a lifetime of negative patterns, influencing a child's relationships with their siblings or other significant friends or even future romantic interests when they come of age.

Parents can take proactive approaches to prevent sibling rivalries from developing between their children.

• Encourage friendship before birth. Older children should become acquainted with the new baby before he or she arrives and be included in the process of welcoming him or her. Parents also can relive the older child's babyhood, offers childcare expert Dr. Sears. Show older brothers or sisters what they looked like as infants and how life changed for the better. Assign older children key roles in the family, such as a mother or father's assistant. This way he or she is taking an active part in helping the family run smoothly.

• Consider spacing children three to four years apart. By spacing siblings apart by three or four years, parents may find that one child is ready for more independence while the new baby will require more constant care. This also may alleviate some stress in the household because the older child can be an important helper.

• Make sure kids have their own unique belongings. Each child can have their own personal toys and possessions that they hold dear. They can choose to share these with one another in play areas, but they should not be forced to compete over particular items.

• Don't compare children in front of them. Children may interpret comparison as criticism. Children will not reach milestones at the same time, and parents should not compare their kids' progress, or lack thereof, in front of the youngsters.

• Let kids work disagreements out. Children will have arguments, and parents should try not to take sides. Let kids work disagreements out on their own when possible.

Sibling rivalries can develop, but parents can take steps to ensure such rivalries do not affect their kids' long-term relationships with one another.

 

How to identify poison ivy

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Poison ivy is an unwelcome guest on many properties. Unfortunately, many people don't recognize the presence of poison ivy on their property until it's too late and they've already fallen victim to the uncomfortable, itchy red rash that is the plant's hallmark.

According to Poison-Ivy.org, a website providing information about poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac, the rash from poison ivy may first appear as just a slight itchy spot. But that spot will gradually get worse and can even cover your entire body with giant red sores if left untreated or if it goes undetected for too long. That only highlights the importance of learning to recognize poison ivy on a property and taking the appropriate measures to prevent anyone from coming into contact with it.

Is all poison ivy the same?
Many people may be surprised to learn that all poison ivy plants are not one and the same. Poison-Ivy.org notes that there are different types of poison ivy in different places, so curious homeowners should visit the site to determine how to identify the type of poison ivy specific to where they live. Eastern Poison Ivy grows on the ground, climbs and sometimes appears as a shrub. And despite its name, Eastern Poison Ivy grows from the east coast to the midwest, affecting people in middle American states like Kansas and Nebraska. Eastern Poison Ivy also can be found in some parts of Texas and Arizona.

What are some telltale signs of the poison ivy plant?
Eastern Poison Ivy is the most widespread poison ivy plant, and these are some of its characteristics. (Note: People who live outside of regions where Eastern Poison Ivy grows can learn about the characteristics of plants in their area by visiting www.Poison-Ivy.org).

• Poison ivy plants always have leaves of three. No poison ivy plants have more than three leaves.

• Poison ivy always grow left, then right. That means that the stem/branch of leaves closest to the root of the plant will always lean left. Subsequent stems/branches of leaves can lean right. Stems/branches of poison ivy leaves are never side by side.

• Poison ivy plants never have thorns.

• The edges of poison ivy leaves are never saw-toothed or scalloped.

• Poison ivy leaves will appear differently depending on the season. In spring, Eastern Poison Ivy leaves will appear red. As spring turns into summer, the leaves will gradually appear more green. Come fall, the green leaves will look as if they were brushed with red, with some leaves featuring patches or spots of red.

The poison ivy rash can be very uncomfortable. Learning to identify poison ivy plants can help people avoid the rash.

 

4 ideas for family game night

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Family game nights can be a great way for families to disconnect from their devices and spend quality time together. Much in the way that family dinners can facilitate conversation and closeness, game nights can spark companionship and hours of fun. 

Game nights are easy to organize and are particularly handy on those nights when there's not much to do or when the weather makes outside activities implausible.
To get started, use these game ideas as a catalyst for fun.

1. Stick to the classics. Certain games remain tried and true family favorites. These include Monopoly, Trouble, Risk, Clue, and Scrabble. Adults who had a favorite game growing up can play it with their own children and see who outsmarts who.

2. Learn card games. From "War" to "Spades" to "Gin" to "Uno" to "Euchre," many card games have withstood the test of time. This is a great way to bridge gaps between grandparents and grandchildren. The older generation can teach these familiar games to children, and everyone can join in the fun.

3. Strengthen drama skills. Charades is a game in which teams must act out a word or phrase based on certain categories and have others on their side guess what is being mimed. Charades often leads to lots of laughs and stumped participants.

4. Shop for new fun. Take a family trip to a toy store or another retailer and browse the games aisle. Let each family member pick out a game that appeals to them and then include them in your family game night rotation.

Families can engage and converse over entertaining games that bridge generations.

 

Call for National Philanthropy Day® 2019 Award Nominations

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The Greater Tri-State Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is now accepting nominations for its 2019 National Philanthropy Day® Awards.

Local community members may honor someone in the following categories: Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, Outstanding Professional Fundraiser, Outstanding Philanthropic Organization, and Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy (grade school, high school, or college), as well as Judges Award.

National Philanthropy Day ® nomination forms are available online. Go to https://tinyurl.com/NPDnominate and Nomination Forms for more information. Applications are due by June 28, 2019.

For any questions related to the nominations please contact committee chair Deanne Althoff at
563-556-7878.

The National Philanthropy Day® Awards Luncheon will be held on Thursday, November 14, at the Grand River Center. Registration begins at 11:15 AM and the event runs from 11:45-1:30 PM. Tickets are $40 and will be available beginning in October. Sponsorships are also available. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities please contact Greg Orwoll at greg@duridedbq.com.

Congratulations to last year's recipients:

• Outstanding Individual Philanthropist - Mike and Judy McCoy

• Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser - Merle Santjer

• Outstanding Philanthropic Organization - Mercy Service Club

• Outstanding Professional Fundraiser - Mike Rohner

The Association of Fundraising Professionals - Greater Tri-State Chapter is located in Dubuque, IA, with members from northeast Iowa, southwest Wisconsin, and northwest Illinois. The Association of Fundraising Professionals represents 27,000 members in 172 chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs.

 

Dubuque Receives 2018 Tree City USA Award

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The City of Dubuque was recently honored with the 2018 Tree City USA Award at the 29th Annual Community Forestry Awards Luncheon in Des Moines. The award was presented in April by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 

"The Tree City USA award is a symbol for communities who have made a commitment to the management of public trees," says state forester Jeff Goerndt. "The City of Dubuque has provided an outstanding example for other Iowa communities by enhancing our forest resources and demonstrating the great value of trees in providing multiple benefits for future generations."

Dubuque was one of 80 Iowa communities to qualify for Tree City USA status. To receive the award, a city must, at a minimum, have either a city forester or an active city tree board; have a tree ordinance; spend at least $2 per capita annually for its community forestry program; and have a tree planting and maintenance plan.

"The Dubuque City Council's commitment to the urban forestry department as well as partnerships like our Dubuque Trees Forever partnership were key to receiving the Tree City USA certification again this year," said City of Dubuque Leisure Services Manager Marie Ware. "We appreciate all the volunteers that have assisted in projects in 2018!"

 

‘Wait to Skate’ While Skate Park Construction Progress Continues

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The City of Dubuque is urging the public to stay off the skate park under construction at Flora Park until it is complete and officially open. The area is an active construction site and the City has received reports of people skating on it which is dangerous and could cause damage to the skate park, leading to a delay in its completion.

City of Dubuque Park Division Manager Steve Fehsal said the completion of the project is weather-dependent but estimates the skate park will be open in mid-June. Construction and completion include grass seeding and landscaping that could be damaged by use of the park before it is opened.

"We realize it's very tempting to skate on the new concrete as the park takes shape but it's very important that people stay off until the entire project is complete," said Fehsal. "Until that time, it's not safe and could damage some of the features. We're working closely with the contractor to complete it as quickly as possible, but we need people to be patient and stay off until it's complete."

People caught using the park before it is completed could be charged with trespassing and be held liable for costs incurred to repair damages. To report violators, please call police dispatch at 563.589.4415.

 

Pool safety starts with prevention

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Pools make some backyards the places to be in late spring and throughout summer. Lazy summer afternoons are a lot more enjoyable when they're spent in or alongside a pool, and kids tend to say "I'm bored" with considerably less frequency when a pool is within arm's reach.

Pools are certainly fun, but they're only as fun as they are safe. According to the USA Swimming Foundation, between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2018, at least 148 children younger than age 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas. While those figures represented a 9 percent decline from the year prior, 148 deaths is still 148 lives lost too early.

Pool safety need not come at the expense of summer fun. In fact, homeowners can employ various preventive measures to reduce the risk of pool-related accidents on their properties.

• Inspect gates around your pool. The International Code Council®, a member-focused association dedicated to the construction of safe, sustainable, affordable, and resilient structures, advises homeowners to inspect all pedestrian gates in the barrier fences around their pools. Such gates should be self-closing and self-latching, as both features ensure gates are always closed. In addition, the ICC recommends padlocking other gates around the property.

• Remove objects around pedestrian gates. Kids can climb up on chairs, tables, large toys, and other objects left around pool gates to gain access to pools even when their parents aren't looking or even home. Such items should be removed.

• Install a pool alarm. Pool alarms can alert homeowners to accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. The ICC recommends installing such alarms while noting that they should not be considered a substitute for barrier fences or safety covers.

• Install automatic or manually operated pool covers. Pool covers can effectively prevent access to pools, spas or hot tubs. At the end of each pool session, cover the pool, even during the height of summer when pools are used daily. The minor task of covering the pool is worth the considerably lower risk of accident or injury if pools remain uncovered.

Summer afternoons at the pool can be made much safer by adhering to a few safety tips.

 

Volunteering as an older adult: How to find the right fit for your new lifestyle

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Many parents feel involving their children in volunteering at an early age can have a profound, long-lasting impact on their kids. But youngsters are not the only ones who can reap great rewards from volunteering, as studies show that men and women at, beyond or approaching retirement age also benefit greatly from volunteer work.

Research from the Corporation for National and Community Service found that more than 20 million older adults contributed in excess of three billion hours of community service time each year from 2011 to 2013. The reasons why older adults volunteer are varied, but in its 2014 survey the AARP's Experience Corps found that 97 percent of its volunteers indicated that their volunteer work with the organization gave them a sense of purpose.

Older adults who want to volunteer but have little or no history with volunteering might not know where to begin with regard to finding the right opportunity. The right fit can make all the difference for volunteers and the people they help, and the following tips might help older adults as they look for an opportunity that best utilizes their skills and experience.

• Know your schedule. Older adults who are still working but want to volunteer may have a firm grasp on their schedules, but even retirees should not overestimate how much time they have to volunteer. Before you begin to look for an opportunity, write down your commitments and daily schedule, using this list to determine how much free time you have to volunteer. Some opportunities require greater time commitments than others, so make sure you know just how much time you can devote to an opportunity before signing up.

• Give due consideration to your experience. Older adults who have retired or are on the cusp of retirement have a lifetime of experience they can use to help others. Imparting wisdom learned in your professional life can provide a sense of purpose and even make you feel as though you are still actively involved in the industry where you built your professional reputation. But life experience can also prove invaluable in volunteering opportunities. Mentoring programs give volunteers the chance to help young people, and such opportunities can involve more than just offering professional advice.

• Don't downplay the significance of certain opportunities. Volunteering opportunities come in many variations, and each is significant in its own right. Coaching a grandchild's soccer team can have as significant an impact on the people you help as other volunteering opportunities. Volunteers offer their time because they have a passion to help others, and that help can be given in a myriad of ways.

• Leave time for the rest of your life. Volunteering is a selfless act, and volunteers are the backbone of many successful charitable organizations. But older men and women should leave time for the rest of their lives as well. Retirement should be fulfilling but also include time for recreation, so don't downplay how important hobbies are to you in an attempt to find more time to volunteer. No retiree wants to grow resentful of his or her volunteer work because it leaves little time for other pursuits, so do your best to balance your charitable endeavors with the other things in life that matter to you.

Finding the right volunteer opportunity can make all the difference for older men and women who want to give back to their communities.

 

Factors to consider before choosing a summer camp

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Adults often look back fondly on their childhood experiences at summer camp. Camps can provide the opportunity to form lifelong friendships and discover rewarding hobbies that can enrich campers' lives for decades to come.

Choosing a summer camp is no small task, as the options at families' disposal range from overnight camps to weekday afternoon camps to camps that specialize in certain programs, such as music or dance.

Cost also is likely to factor into families' decisions, as the American Camp Association notes that cost can vary greatly depending on which camp families choose. For example, the ACA notes that the average daily fee at a resident camp is $85, while the same fee at a day camp is $43.

When looking for a summer camp for kids, families should make the decision together. Kids should be involved in the selection process, as they're more likely to have an enjoyable camp experience if they had a say in where they will be spending their summers. The following are some factors families should consider as they look for summer camps, courtesy of the ACA.

Kids' interests
The ACA urges parents to consider the child's interests and personality before choosing a summer camp. Parents might want their children to attend the same summer camp they visited as youngsters, but each child is different. Just because mom and dad liked a particular camp does not mean their children will. The ACA notes that summer camps should align with children's interests and maturity level.

Locale
Locale may only be a consideration for families considering overnight camps. Kids will likely be familiar with the locations of local day camps, but overnight camps might be set in mountain ranges, near the ocean or environments less familiar to youngsters. Kids who love the ocean might benefit from oceanfront camps that focus on marine biology, boating or other activities involving the water. In the same vein, youngsters who like camping and hiking might be more likely to embrace camps located in mountainous regions.

Session length
Camps may last as little as one week or up to a couple of months. Session length should be considered by families looking at both local day camps and overnight resident camps. Parents who want their children to enjoy a largely schedule-free summer might not want to commit their children to lengthy camp sessions, even if those sessions are close to home. If parents think their children can benefit from the same structure they're accustomed to during the school year, then an overnight camp that stretches for several weeks might be what they're looking for.

Summer camps give kids a chance to make memories that will last a lifetime. Choosing the right camp is an important decision that parents and kids should make together.

 

City Parks to Open for Season on May 4

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City of Dubuque parks will officially open for the season on Saturday, May 4. Park restroom facilities, water fountains, and other amenities will be available for public use at that time.

The City of Dubuque offers 50 parks covering 973 acres and features trails, camping, disc golf, fishing, in-line hockey, picnicking, playgrounds, tennis, trails, skateboarding, softball and baseball, playgrounds, and more. An online map of Dubuque's parks is available at
www.cityofdubuque.org/parks.

Due to flooding, Miller Riverview Park & Campground, located at 1851 Admiral Sheehy Dr., will not open until further notice.

To ensure an enjoyable park experience for all, the City of Dubuque Parks Division offers some general reminders about its parks, pavilion rentals, and pet policies.

Park Hours
Hours of operation vary from park to park. In general, most City parks open to the public at 7 a.m. daily. The Alliant Energy Amphitheater, American Trust River's Edge Plaza, and the Mississippi Riverwalk are open for public use 24 hours per day.

Pavilion Rental
Pavilions are available to rent in Eagle Point Park, Flora Park, Miller Riverview Park, Murphy Park, and the Port of Dubuque. The Washington Park Gazebo may also be rented. New rental spaces for the Bee Branch Creek Greenway and the Bergfeld Recreation Area have been added to the department's offerings and are available for rent beginning this season. Reservations may be arranged by calling the Leisure Services Department at 563-589-4263 or online at www.cityofdubuque.org/parks. Reservations may be made 11 months in advance and payment is required at the time the reservation is made. New pavilion rental fees have been implemented due to a new standardization of fees based on seating capacity groupings.

Pets in City Parks/Trails
Per City ordinance, leashed dogs and cats are allowed in certain locations. Dogs are allowed off leash in the Pet Park on North Grandview Avenue, which is open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Municipal citations may be issued to anyone with a pet in a park or on a trail where they are not permitted. Dogs and cats are allowed on a leash at the following parks/trails:
A.Y. McDonald Park
Granger Creek Nature Trail
Heritage Trail
Jaycee Trail
John G. Bergfeld Recreation Area
Medical Associates Greenbelt Park
Miller Riverview Park (including trail on Chaplain Schmitt Island)
Northwest Arterial Trail
Port of Dubuque Marina
Port of Dubuque Riverwalk Trail
Powerline Trail
Pyatigorsk Park
Southern Levy Trail

Pet owners/keepers are responsible for their pets' actions and must pick up and dispose of or take away their pets' waste.

For further information about City parks, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/parks or call 563-589-4263.

 

Restore rusty tools

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Many people may be tempted to discard rusty tools that have gone unused and sat in a garage or shed for a significant period of time.

But tools encrusted with rust do not need to be relegated to the trash bin, nor do gardeners have to toil for hours scraping and sanding off the rust.

There's a much easier way to restore rusty tools that relies on a common household ingredient: vinegar. Pour vinegar into a deep enough vessel to submerge the metal part of the tool. Soak the tool overnight. The next day, use a scouring pad to rub off the rust. If the tool is too big to fit into a can or bucket, simply wrap it with a vinegar-soaked rag and cover the whole tool with a tightly secured plastic bag. Follow the same procedure the next day. After all the rust is gone, rinse the tool in cool water and dry thoroughly. Then return it to regular usage.

 

Establish a child/parent prom night agreement

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Prom can be one of the most exciting evenings in an adolescent's life. A gathering with friends that soon may part for different areas of the country or even the world, prom night offers the chance to let loose and have fun before the "real world" beckons.

Attending prom might be a thrilling way for high-schoolers to spend an evening, but prom night can be dangerous as well. Many parents approach their kids' prom nights with trepidation. To understand why parents can be so apprehensive about prom night, consider these statistics:

• According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 300 teens have died in alcohol-related car accidents on prom weekends over the past several years.

• A 2014 survey of teens between the ages of 16 and 19 by the driving group AAA found that 41 percent of prom-goers would likely use drugs or alcohol on prom night.

• A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services national survey reported 30 percent of male high school seniors considered it acceptable to force sexual activity on a girl who is intoxicated or high.

• According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in five female high school students is the victim of physical or sexual abuse at the hands of a date.

• NHTSA also says that, by age 18, more than 70 percent of teens have had one drink without adult supervision. When teens drink they tend to binge - consuming at least five drinks on a single occasion.

Through open communication, parents and students can work together to make prom night fun and safe. One way to facilitate this is to enter into a prom agreement. This written contract will spell out acceptable behavior and what to do in the event of an emergency. Items to include in the agreement can include:

• A curfew for returning home.

• An outline of expected festivities and when/where a child will be when not at the dance.

• A list of emergency contacts programmed into cell phones, including taxi services.

• Name of the prom date as well as all friends who will be traveling together.

• The limousine company's name and the driver's contact information.

• An acknowledgment that parents can peruse kids' belongings for illegal substances or alcohol.

• Acceptance on the part of the parent that he or she will pick up the student at any time or place if the teen is intoxicated or thinks he or she is in danger.

• An open discussion on sexual activity and experience and if intimacy is planned for the evening. Parents also should discuss contraception with their children in advance of prom night.

• Teens agreeing to be financially or legally responsible should poor prom behavior result in damage or charges.

Prom night can be an enjoyable experience when students, parents and administrators work together to help ensure a safe, fun evening.

 

The basics of mulching

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Mulch is available in various forms. Like other land and garden products, mulch can go a long way toward helping plants thrive. 

Mulch comprises just about any material that is spread over the surface of soil. Its purpose is primarily to help soil retain moisture. In addition, mulch can staunch weed growth, keep soil cool, improve the aesthetics of garden beds, and even improve soil nutrient composition. When the right mulch is chosen, it can reduce the amount of time homeowners spend watering and weeding their gardens and insulate plants from dramatic changes in weather.

Gardeners may not realize that mulch also can prevent garden soil from becoming overly compacted, according to HGTV. This can mean beneficial earthworms can move easily through the soil, creating channels for water and depositing their nutrient-rich waste products.

Gardeners can choose organic or inorganic mulch. Organic mulches are derived from natural materials that will decompose over time, lending organic matter as well as various nutrients to the soil. Organic mulches also may contain beneficial microorganisms that can fight against plant diseases. Inorganic mulches may be made of stones, landscape fabrics and plastic. Both types will need to be amended or replaced as they degrade. Those who want the most environmentally-friendly mulching materials can choose all-natural mulches instead of synthetic alternatives.

To work effectively, mulch should be applied in a two- to three-inch layer of material, state the experts at Old World Garden Farms. This is the ideal amount to retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth without choking plants. Also, mulch that is too thick may make it impossible for water to penetrate, or it may prevent the soil from airing out, causing continuously wet conditions that lead to root and stem rot.

The University of Connecticut Home & Garden Education Center says mulch should not be placed directly against plant crowns or tree bases, as this can promote the development of disease. It may also serve as a habitat for bark- and stem-eating rodents. The center also suggests watering newly installed bark or wood mulches to prevent fungi from colonizing in dry mulch and causing problems like a water-repellent surface on the mulch.

Home landscapers considering mulch types may find that compost, manure and grass clippings (from nonpesticide-treated lawns) can be inexpensive and versatile in garden beds.

The home advice site The Spruce notes that newspaper may also be effective. Many newspapers have switched over to organic dyes, especially for their black and white sections. Newspapers are an inexpensive way to suppress weeds and act like organic mulch in beds. They can be covered with other organic mulch, like shredded bark, for more visual appeal.

Mulch can be a versatile asset when doing gardening projects around home landscapes. And the benefits are more than just aesthetic.

 

See the sights with motorcycle tours

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Motorcycles are a great way to travel. Motorcycles provide a multisensory experience that many riders feel cannot be rivaled. 

Motorcycles have a come a long way in comfort and features since creators Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach debuted the first motorcycle in Germany in 1885.

The popularity of motorcycles has fluctuated over the years, and the people who ride them have changed as well. In 2014, for example, women represented 14 percent of all motorcycle owners, states the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Generally speaking, motorcycle ownership has become a pursuit of the financially solvent, married and well educated. According to the finance and investment resource The Motley Fool, most new motorcycles sold in the United States are on-highway bikes, rather than off-roading styles. These bikes are ideal for motorcycle tours.

Speaking of motorcycle tours, they can be an ideal way to see the country or the world. Motorcycle tour companies are popping up on just about every continent and can help make for extraordinary road trips. Pairing a motorcycle ride with a touch of history can treat riders to hidden details of the places they visit and offer an up close and personal look at many sights and attractions.

With motorcycle tours, there's often something for everyone. Riders can take in sumptuous landscapes, zigzag on mountain roads, ride along coastal vistas, and even explore areas featuring medieval architecture or other historical locales. Motorcycle tourists can ride as a group or strike out on their own.

Many tours put together an impressive package that includes elegant accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, support vehicles to carry luggage and other necessities, custom maps and route sheets as well as admission to special attractions at stops along the tours. Certain tours also may be personally guided.

Motorcycle tours can be well worth the effort of research and booking for those who prefer to travel around North America, Europe or Asia on two wheels. A quick search online will yield motorcycle tours close to home or at many popular destinations.

 

Things to consider before building a greenhouse

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Avid gardeners may be enticed by the idea of a greenhouse that allows them to explore their passion for plants year-round. While it's true that greenhouses afford this luxury, there are important things to consider before erecting a greenhouse in your yard.

Greenhouses require ample time to maintain. Greenhouses are not self-managing; they require heat, water, venting, electricity, and maintenance on the part of gardeners. Individuals need to determine how much time they have to devote to a greenhouse and then consider their options.

Start by choosing the size of the greenhouse. Many experts, like those at the home and garden information site The Spruce, suggest getting the largest one you can afford and fit into the yard. It is much easier to fill a large greenhouse than try to expand on a small one later on.

Next, consider whether you want to build the greenhouse from scratch or utilize a prefabricated kit that can make easier work of the job. Kits typically contain all of the materials needed, and are easiest for someone who is a construction novice. Look for "grower greenhouses," which are all-purpose options with adjustable shelving and space for growing plants full-term.

The next step is deciding where the greenhouse will be located. The goal is to have a consistent amount of sunlight year-round. A south-facing locale is ideal, and structures should remain north of the greenhouse so they do not cast a shadow on it. The building, cars and technology resource Popular Mechanics advises gardening enthusiasts to take into consideration the angle of the sun during all seasons before choosing a location. Doing so ensures that the sun is not obscured in the winter or fall.

Select a spot that also has ample drainage, as you will not want water pooling up along the sides of or underneath the greenhouse. Raise the greenhouse on footings to alleviate flooding concerns.

Consult with a gardening or agriculture expert about the best way to heat the greenhouse. Options abound with electric-, gas- and propane-powered heating sources. Some systems will require venting.

You also will need to know what is available and legal in your area. Check to see if you need a building permit for the greenhouse and any accompanying heating elements.

Once the greenhouse is situated, you can begin to add other items, like benches, additional shelving, hooks for tools, and even an automated watering or misting system.
Greenhouses take commitment, but the reward is the chance to enjoy gardening all year long.

 

Spring State of the City Explores Sustainable Innovations

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Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol has released his "State of the City" for spring 2019 and it focuses on the results that sustainable innovations are yielding through multiple public/private partnerships in Dubuque.

The text version of the spring 2019 State of the City appears in the May/June issue of the City News newsletter currently being mailed to City utility customers. A video version is airing on CityChannel Dubuque and was distributed through the City's social media channels.

"Sustainable Innovations" is the name of a collaborative effort between Greater Dubuque Development Corporation (GDDC) and the City of Dubuque. Its purpose is to create, foster, and prioritize the implementation of best practices and opportunities to improve the sustainability and resiliency of the Dubuque area for continued economic growth. Buol's State of the City highlights biogas conversion projects at the City's Water and Resource Recovery Center and the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency Landfill. It also provides an update on Dubuque's broadband expansion/acceleration initiative, another partnership with GDDC to improve Dubuque's broadband connectivity and reduce the cost and time needed for new technology and broadband investment in Dubuque. The initiative also seeks to lower costs and improve broadband access for businesses and residents.

Buol's quarterly State of the City columns appear in City News, Dubuque's utility bill newsletter. They are also converted into videos that air on CityChannel Dubuque (on Mediacom channels 8 and 117.2 and online at www.cityofdubuque.org/media) and will be shared on the City of Dubuque's Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn channels. Both the text version and video are also available at www.cityofdubuque.org/sotc.

 

Identify and treat a garden mole problem

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Lawn and garden enthusiasts often must address unforeseen issues when tending to their lawns. Weeds can be a blight, and drought can compromise the look and integrity of a lawn. 

Another, more deceptive potential adversary is moles. After a spring and summer spent tending to their gardens, no homeowner wants to have their hard work compromised by moles.

"The Old Farmer's Almanac" says that moles are ground-dwelling insectivores that feast on insects in the soil. Moles grow to be roughly six to eight inches long and have gray or black, velvety fur. Their snouts are slender and hairless, and they have very small eyes and ears. Their large front feet have long claws that scoop dirt out of the way like a garden hoe.

Even though moles are more likely to snack on grubs, worms and beetles than plants, they damage gardens and lawns because of their underground tunneling behavior. Moles make subterranean channels throughout the yard in search of food. Some of the telltale signs include sprouted mounds of displaced soil, holes and raised burrows and hills. Tunneling can separate roots from soil, eventually killing vegetation in the process, according to the home and garden experts at BobVila.com.

There are various ways to address mole problems in a lawn or garden. Some professionals may recommend fumigants, home remedies and repellents. But these methods are not always effective, according to Better Homes & Gardens. Using insecticides can rid the lawn of some of the foods that moles dine upon, ultimately discouraging them from coming onto a property. However, many experts agree that trapping is the only reliable means of stopping these creatures.

Homeowners can trap moles humanely by catching the mole in the act. This involves waiting for a mole to start channeling, then using two shovels to block egress on either side of its path. The mole can be removed to a box and relocated. There also are various mole and gopher traps available for sale that operate with spring-loaded snares. Individuals should check if trapping moles is legal where they live.

For more information regarding moles, visit www.almanac.com or www.bobvila.com.

 

Kids and sleep

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Adequate sleep is important for children's health, states the American Academy of Pediatrics. Quality sleep is just as important as well visits and protective immunizations.

Babies and young children may sleep between 10 and 18 hours per day, but by the time a child reaches school-age, he or she may be well-rested after getting between 9 and 11 hours.

Sleep is vital for the body to recover and rebuild and for the brain to process new information. The Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children's Hospital says that children who are not getting enough sleep may experience difficulty learning new tasks.

Parents who want to foster good sleeping habits in their children can try the following strategies.

• Set a smart bedtime and nap schedule.

• Do not allow the use of electronics approximately one hour prior to bedtime.

• Create a regular bedtime routine that includes winding down and cues that rest is coming.

• Stick to the same schedule every day of the week - including weekends.

• Make sure kids get daily exercise, which can make it easier for them to grow tired around bedtime.

• Create a cool, comfortable and dark sleeping environment.

 

What is the right type of pet for your family?

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Welcoming a pet into one's life can be a rewarding experience. Pets promote compassion and discipline in their owners, and their companionship can be incredibly rewarding. They also can be helpful tools for teaching children responsibility. 

Pets require commitment, patience and financial investment. Potential pet owners also need to understand just what they're getting into when they decide to bring a pet home. Certain animals require a greater level of attention than others, and some pets might not be the right fit for all involved. After all, a pet is not a temporary playmate, but a long-term family member who will require considerable love and attention.

Prospective pet owners should consider various factors to help them find the pet that suits their families.

Decide if you want a young pet or prefer an older animal, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. While puppies and kittens can be attractive, they require extra time and care upon being welcomed into a home, and that can be rough if young children are in the home and not accustomed to pets and their unique behaviors. In such instances, an older established animal may be a better fit, especially if you can devote the time to retraining the animal to your preferences. If you already have pets, you'll need to find one that's compatible with your existing animals.

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation says to carefully consider if you can provide the amount of attention your pet will need. Different species and breeds require various amounts of care. A ferret or hamster may be self-sufficient most of the day, while a boisterous puppy will not be. People who travel frequently or are out of the house most of the day will have to keep this in mind as well.

Affordability is another factor to consider. Assess whether you have the money necessary to offer shelter, recreation, medical care, food, exercise, and socialization for this particular pet. If you cannot budget for a pet that has a lot of needs, look for one that has relatively inexpensive care requirements, like a fish.

Remember that some animals can live many years, while others have a relatively short life span. Factor this into your decision as well. Once you make the commitment to the pet, it's unfair to surrender an animal simply because you failed to recognize the time and energy required to take care of it.

For more assistance choosing a pet, speak with a trusted veterinarian or animal expert about the traits of certain animals and breeds up for consideration.

 

How to protect your yard from deer

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With more than 60 different species of deer worldwide, there's a good chance individuals will have some sort of interaction with these majestic animals at one point during their lifetimes. 

Deer, which live on all continents except Antarctica, can survive in everything from mountainous areas to wet rainforests to suburban neighborhoods. These herbivores are voracious eaters that will search far and wide for their meals. Home landscapes tend to be easy pickings for foraging deer.

Many people are excited to see deer in their neighborhoods and yards because they can be such graceful creatures to behold. However, once deer start to munch on ornamental trees, annuals and flowering shrubs, the novelty of these animals may wear off. Furthermore, deer also can be covered in ticks that spread illnesses like Lyme disease.

Here are some tips to keep deer at bay.

• Avoid tasty morsels. Deer like English ivy, lettuces, impatiens, pansies, and hostas. Fruit trees also are targets. Choose other plants to grow, and wait until after early spring, when deer aren't as concerned with regaining weight lost during the winter, to get them in the ground.

• Use fishing line to deter deer. Put a few stakes in the ground and then run fishing line at a height of about three feet. Deer can sense movement but do not have keen vision. As the deer approach your garden, they'll brush against the "invisible" fishing line and then get spooked off.

• Plant plants that produce strong aromas. The experts at Good Housekeeping suggest planting lavender and marigolds, which emit strong aromas. Deer will be reluctant to walk through because the smell can interfere with their ability to find food and assess their environment via their sense of smell.

• Stock up on soap. The tallow in soap helps keep deer away, according to the University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science. Scented soaps like Irish Spring may be especially good at warding off deer.

• Plant in levels. Raised beds and sunken gardens can discourage deer from coming into the yard because they aren't avid climbers, offers the home and garden resource This Old House.

• Employ harmless scare tactics. Deer are skittish, and any unfamiliar movement or sound may scare them away. Cans hung from strings, sundials and lights can keep them at bay.

Deer will seek out an easy meal, but homeowners can take steps to safeguard their trees, flowers and shrubs.

 

Communication skills kids can learn

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An ability to communicate effectively is a life skill that can serve a person well at any age. Communication is considered so essential that the Boy Scouts of America even require prospective Eagle Scouts to earn communication merit badges.

It's never too early to help children become better communicators. From toddlerhood to grade school and beyond, learning how to interact with others is necessary at every stage.

Developing communication takes time, but there are various techniques to help kids become better communicators.

• Great communication is a two-way process. Listening is often as important as speaking when communicating. Parents can help model good behavior by listening and letting children express themselves before offering their own opinions.

• Take turns in conversation. Rather than speaking at the same time or interrupting others, effective communicators take turns offering their thoughts. Listening to others can help shape what the other person might say.

• Speak regularly with one another. Initiate conversation frequently so that children become accustomed to speaking with adults and others. Chat about where you're going when running errands or discuss television plots during commercial breaks.

• Make conversations relevant. Allow experiences that are happening around the family to shape conversations. Encourage curiosity and introduce new themes and vocabulary. The more the child gets to experience, the more inclined he or she may be to discuss those experiences.

• Modify communication methods. Some children may struggle to communicate effectively. By working with speech/language pathologists and making the most of digital and other communication aids, parents make things easier for kids who are struggling to communicate.

• Ask for details. The organization Understood.org advises adults to focus on recall and sequencing when speaking with children. These skills are important and can be enhanced when kids offer details. These techniques can help children ultimately develop strong comprehension and writing skills.

• Speak with others. Encourage children to speak to their peers, adults and educators as much as possible to establish comfort in various communication settings. Doing so will help in the short- and long-term.

Communicating is an important component of school, home life and future employment. Children who learn to communicate effectively are in position to thrive in school and later in life.

 

City of Dubuque Implementing New Pavilion Rental Fees

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The City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department is adjusting the rental fees and advance reservation schedule for the department's park pavilions. The changes will become effective on Monday, April 8, 2019.

Most pavilion fees will be increasing due to a new standardization of fees based on seating capacity groupings. Park pavilions have been categorized into four seating capacity groups: 1-25, 26-50, 51-100, and 100+.

The increase in rental fees was recently approved by City Council as a part of the Fiscal Year 2019 budget process. Rental fees for pavilions were last increased in the early 1990s, when fees were based on per-seat capacity and rates increased from $0.50 to $0.60 per seat. Operating expenses to maintain these facilities have increased over time, requiring an increase in funding to maintain the infrastructure of the Dubuque's park system. The new fee structure was developed after a review of park pavilion rental fees and pavilion types and amenities in other Iowa cities.

The maximum advance reservation is being reduced from 23 months in advance of an event to 11 months in advance. The reduction allows for more accurately tracking revenues for the fiscal year versus multiple years.

Additionally, some pavilions will no longer be available for rent due to complaints of crowding issues or lack of reservations for specific areas. New rental spaces for the Bee Branch Creek Greenway and the Bergfeld Recreation Area have been added to the department's offerings and are available for rent beginning this season.

Park pavilions are available to rent from the first Saturday in May through the fourth Saturday in October. To reserve a park pavilion, please visit www.cityofdubuque.org/parks or call 563-589-4263 for more information.

 

Iowa Public Television Announces 2019 Reading Road Trip

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The 13th annual statewide road trip to visit 29 communities this summer.

Iowa Public Television's Dan Wardell kicks off his thirteenth annual Reading Road Trip on Thursday, June 6. This summer, 29 lucky Iowa communities will receive a visit from Wardell, the popular host of the children's series KIDS Clubhouse Adventures. IPTV partners with librarians statewide to promote summer reading each year.

Wardell will welcome kids and families in communities across the state with an engaging, interactive story time. As he has for more than a decade, Wardell will encourage kids to go outside and play, use their imaginations, read a good book and eat healthy foods. More than 146,700 people have attended Wardell's Reading Road Trip in the past 12 years.

Once the summer is over, Wardell will continue his Reading Road Trip story times throughout the school year as the show production schedule permits. Fans can follow Dan Wardell's year-long journey by visiting Iptv.org/Families or on Facebook at KIDS Clubhouse Adventures.

The 2019 Reading Road Trip dates and times are subject to change. Schedule updates are immediately posted to Iptv.org.

Support for the Reading Road Trip is provided by Blank Children's Hospital, Casey's General Stores and Iowa Department of Public Health: 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count.

Learn more at Iptv.org.

For more information about Iowa Public Television, please contact Susan Ramsey at 515.725.9703 or Susan.Ramsey@iptv.org.

2019 Reading Road Trip

Boyden Tuesday, July 9 1:00 p.m.
Charles City Thursday, June 20 10:00 a.m.
Clear Lake Monday, July 8 10:15 a.m.
Creston Monday, July 22 1:30 p.m.
Denison Monday, July 22 10:00 a.m.
Dubuque Tuesday, June 18 9:15 & 10:30 a.m.
Eldon Wednesday, July 24 1:30 p.m.
Essex Thursday, July 11 10:00 a.m.
Fort Madison Tuesday, July 23 2:00 p.m.
Galva Tuesday, July 9 4:00 p.m.
Grinnell Wednesday, July 17 2:00 p.m.
Harlan Wednesday, July 10 10:00 a.m.
Hubbard Thursday, June 20 2:00 p.m.
Humboldt Monday, July 8 1:30 p.m.
Janesville Friday, June 21 10:00 a.m.
Johnston Friday, June 28 10:30 a.m.
Knoxville Thursday, June 6 10:30 a.m.
Le Mars Wednesday, June 26 4:00 p.m.
Lowden Monday, June 17 1:30 p.m.
Massena Wednesday, July 10 1:30 p.m.
Mount Pleasant Tuesday, July 23 10:30 a.m.
Muscatine Wednesday, July 24 10:15 a.m.
New Albin Wednesday, June 19 10:00 a.m.
New Virginia Wednesday, July 17 10:00 a.m.
Northwood Wednesday, June 19 2:00 p.m.
Ogden Thursday, July 18 10:00 a.m.
Postville Tuesday, June 18 2:30 p.m.
Spencer Tuesday, July 9 10:00 a.m.
Tiffin Monday, June 17 10:00 a.m.
A schedule listed by date is available at Iptv.org.

Iowa Public Television is Iowa's only statewide television network. IPTV's mission to educate, inform, enrich and inspire Iowans guides its quality, noncommercial programming that tells Iowa's stories like no one else can. Four statewide, public channels offer programs of lasting value to Iowans, regardless of where they live or what they can afford: IPTV (.1), IPTV KIDS (.2), IPTV WORLD (.3) and IPTV Create (.4) on Channel 11, Des Moines; Channel 12, Iowa City; Channel 21, Fort Dodge; Channel 24, Mason City; Channel 27, Sioux City; Channel 32, Waterloo; Channel 32, Council Bluffs; Channel 36, Davenport; Channel 36, Red Oak. More information can be found at Iptv.org.

 

How to control crabgrass before it appears

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Homeowners who enjoy tending to their lawns know that grass is vulnerable to a host of problems, many of which appear at a time of year when lawn enthusiasts want to showcase the fruits of their lawn-and-garden labors.

Crabgrass is a common problem that appears in summer. According to Lowes, crabgrass plants produce thousands of seeds between midsummer and early fall. While the first frosts of late-fall or early winter kill the crabgrass plants, the seeds produced by the plants remain dormant throughout winter and then begin to grow as the ground temperature warms up with the spring and summer thaw. As a result, controlling germination, which is the development of a plant from a seed or spore after a period of dormancy, is the key to preventing crabgrass from becoming an unsightly blemish that can harm your lawn in summer.

A proactive approach to crabgrass can save homeowners the headaches of dealing with this unwanted guest taking over their grass. The following tips, courtesy of Lowes, can help homeowners reduce the likelihood of their lawns being overcome by crabgrass as summer hits full swing.

• Recognize that routine lawn maintenance may not be enough. Even lawns that receive sufficient TLC can fall victim to crabgrass. A proactive, crabgrass-specific approach to lawn maintenance is the most effective way to control the problem before it pops up.

• Apply a pre-emergent herbicide. Pre-emergent herbicides kill crabgrass seedlings as they germinate. While these herbicides are highly effective, they must be applied at precisely the right time. The right time to apply them depends on weather patterns. For example, Lowes notes that homeowners who live in regions that might have experienced warmer than usual winters will probably need to apply the herbicides earlier than usual. While the manufacturer instructions should always be followed when applying herbicides, it's essential that homeowners take weather patterns into consideration as well.

• Wait until the ground temperature rises above 60 F. Applying herbicides when the ground temperature is below 60 F might render the products ineffective. Gauging soil temperature can be tricky, but Lowes advises monitoring shrubs and trees on the property. Once shrubs begin to bloom and trees bud, herbicide can be applied.

• Wait when treating newly seeded lawns. Pre-emergent herbicides might kill new grass seedlings, so homeowners with newly seeded lawns should wait until they have mowed their lawns three times before applying a herbicide.

• Emphasize uniform application. If a herbicide is not applied uniformly across the lawn, crabgrass can establish itself and ultimately spread to the rest of the lawn.

• Do not thatch or aerate after applying a herbicide. Thatching or aerating a lawn after applying a herbicide might break the product's chemical barrier, thereby rendering it ineffective.

Crabgrass can quickly spread on an untreated lawn. A proactive approach that prevents its growth can keep lawns looking great through summer.

 

Dubuque Again an All-America City Award Finalist

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Dubuque has been selected as one of 20 finalist communities in the competition for the National Civic League's 2019 All-America City Award. If selected as one of the 10 winning communities, it would be the fifth time Dubuque has received the prestigious distinction since 2007.

Finalist communities include the fourth-largest city in America (Houston, Texas) and a city of only 3,500 people (Gothenburg, Neb.). The 20 finalists share a common bond of working to create healthy communities through inclusive civic engagement. According to the National Civic League, these finalists represent the diversity of American communities from the largest cities to the smallest towns, from east to west and north to south.

The finalists for the 2019 All-America City Award are:
Battle Creek, Michigan
Clinton, North Carolina
Cornelius, Oregon
Doral, Florida
Dubuque, Iowa
Edinburg, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Gothenburg, Nebraska
Hallandale Beach, Florida
Houston, Texas Livingston County, New York
Millcreek, Utah
Mission, Texas
Ontario, California
Pasco, Washington
Rancho Cordova, California
Rock Hill, South Carolina
San Antonio, Texas
West Hollywood, California
Wichita, Kansas

"This competition features significant projects from around the country. Being named a finalist for this award is a testament to the many individuals and organizations that work together to identify and address challenges facing our community," said Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol. "We had a knowledgeable and dedicated team prepare our application and look forward to the opportunity to share our journey in the next phase of the competition."

The 2019 All-America City competition spotlights inclusive community engagement practices that create healthy communities for all residents. Dubuque's application highlights the work of several organizations and grassroots leadership that has lead to results. The application describes civic infrastructure built on the Inclusive Dubuque network of over 60 partners working to advance justice and social equity, and Imagine Dubuque 2017: A Call to Action, the comprehensive planning process that collected input from 6,000 residents to identify a roadmap for Dubuque's future.

Dubuque's application features three projects demonstrating how partners are impacting health outcomes for all residents. Health Care for All highlights the progress Crescent Community Health Center has made, the impact of the Pacific Islander Health Project, and the recent work of the Brain Health Task Force. The Bee Branch Creek Restoration Project is the second project highlighted in the application, and the collaborative work happening by the Dubuque Eats Well coalition to increase access to healthy local foods is the third.

The award, given to 10 communities each year, celebrates and recognizes neighborhoods, villages, towns, cities, counties, tribes and regions that engage residents in innovative, inclusive and effective efforts to tackle critical challenges.

National Civic League President Doug Linkhart explains the importance of using inclusive civic engagement: "These finalist communities are building healthy communities through collaboration with residents, businesses and other stakeholders. While many people are concerned about the ability of our nation to improve lives, these communities are showing that great things can happen at the local level."

The 20 finalist communities will compete June 21-23 in Denver, Colorado, to be recognized as one of 10 All-America Cities for 2019. Each community will bring a team of residents, nonprofit leaders, business representatives, government officials and young people to participate in presentations and workshops for three days in Denver, Colorado. The 2019 spotlight for the award is efforts focused on inclusive engagement practices that create healthy communities for all, and particularly for populations currently experiencing poorer health outcomes. Finalist communities' presentations will bring their written application to life and demonstrate the positive effects of using equitable engagement strategies to address issues such as promoting mental health, addressing obesity and building stronger neighborhoods.

Dubuque was first named an All-America City in 2007 when its application described the America's River Project, Downtown Master Plan, and Crescent Community Health Center. Veteran-Oriented Programs, Workforce-Development Efforts, and the Historic Millwork District Revitalization were profiled in 2013 and 2012's successful application focused on the community's Plan to Improve Third-Grade Reading. In 2017, Dubuque's winning application featured the Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

For more information on the National Civic League and the All-America City Award, visit www.nationalcivicleague.org/america-city-award/

 

2019 Friday Concert Line-Up Announced

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The Dubuque County Fair, presented by 7G Distributing, has announced this year's Friday concert, sponsored by Dubuque Bank & Trust and WJOD!

Following last year's success with Jake Owen and Jay Allen, the Dubuque County fair has booked country music superstar Chris Young, with special guest Carlton Anderson.

Tickets are $55 for the festival area, $45 for reserved grandstand, $35 for grandstand, and $20 for hillside (fair admission is not included with concert tickets). Ticket descriptions (and other frequently asked questions) are available on our website.

Tickets are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com, at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds & Event Center Office or at www.dbqfair.com.

Saturday's act will be announced at a later time.

The Dubuque County Fair is the largest and longest-running family entertainment event in the county. The year's 66th annual event runs daily from July 23-28 with main stage and grounds entertainment, one of the nation's top midway carnival operators, barns, 4H and creative arts exhibits, fair food offerings (including the legendary lemonade) and more. To learn more about the fair, visit www.dbqfair.com.

 

Emergency preparedness tips for seniors

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Natural disasters can strike at any time, and when they do, the damage is often considerable. According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, between 2005 and 2014 natural disasters caused $1.4 trillion in damage across the globe, affecting 1.7 billion people along the way.

Various preventive measures can protect people and their homes from the potentially devastating impact of natural disasters. For example, oceanfront communities may be able to decrease property damage by exacting certain measures, such as building homes on stilts.

Another way to prevent tragedy related to natural disasters is to develop an emergency preparedness plan before the next storm strikes. That's important for everyone, but especially so for seniors, many of whom live with mobility issues that can compromise their ability to escape the eye of oncoming storms.

In recognition of the potential problems seniors face when natural disasters strike, the American Red Cross offers the following tips to seniors and their families so aging men and women can make it through such situations safe and sound.

• Make arrangements to contact loved ones. Prior to an emergency, seniors and their support network should make arrangements to make immediate contact once a disaster strikes. Determine who will make initial contact and how that contact will be made (i.e., via phone, text message, social media, etc.), as well as who will be responsible for providing assistance if necessary. Such a plan lets everyone within the support network know their precise responsibilities, which limits confusion in the sometimes hectic hours and days after disaster strikes.

• Exchange keys. Make sure everyone in the support network has keys to seniors' homes. In so doing, support networks are increasing the chances that someone will be able to reach potentially vulnerable seniors if the primary contacts are incapable of doing so.

• Let others know where emergency supplies are kept. Everyone should have emergency supplies in their homes. Seniors should not take it for granted that such supplies can be easily found if they become incapacitated during a storm. Make sure such information can be easily accessed during a storm by emailing it to your support network and/or posting the information in a convenient location in your home, such as on the refrigerator.

• Share your evacuation plans. In the wake of recent disasters, many communities that did not previously feel vulnerable to natural disasters have devised evacuation plans for residents. Seniors should share these plans with their support networks. Doing so makes it easier for relatives to find you if you must evacuate your home before help arrives.

• Share important medical information. Seniors should share medical information, such as healthcare providers and a list of the medications they're taking. This can make things easier for emergency responders to successfully treat people who become incapacitated during storms.

Emergency preparedness strategies save lives. More information about how seniors can prepare for emergencies is available at www.redcross.org.

 

MLK Day: How Far Have We Come?

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The Fountain of Youth Program, Multicultural Family Center, Wartburg Seminary, Sustainable Dubuque, and United Way of Dubuque Present: "How Far Have We Come?", a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy with inspiring performances, cultural integration, and networking.

The celebration, featuring keynote speaker Renee Tyler, will take place January 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Multicultural Family Center, 1101 Central Ave., in Dubuque. Additional performances are planned by Jasmine Barnes, Joseph Coleman, Kennedy Wright, Mark Norton, and Marcus Moore.

No RSVP is necessary for this family-friendly FREE event. Light food will be served and activities will be available for children.

 

What is Giving Tuesday?

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While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the more widely known retail holidays, Giving Tuesday is becoming pretty popular in its own right.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following American Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday helps raise awareness that charity is an important component of the holiday season. The nonprofit services company Neon says nearly one-third of all annual giving occurs in December, with 12 percent happening over the final three days of the year. Giving Tuesday is positioned right in the midst of the most popular time for charitable giving.

What makes Giving Tuesday unique is that it is largely fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. The day was actually created by the 92nd Street Y, a cultural center in New York City that has been instrumental in bringing diverse groups of people together with the goals of giving back through service. The 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together in 2012 to help form a day that was focused on the generosity of giving during the holiday season. Thus, Giving Tuesday was born.

Technology and social media play a large role in uniting people for Giving Tuesday. Founding partners included Mashable, a technology website, Skype and Cisco. But the success of Giving Tuesday is thanks in large part to the general public, who have both spread the word and made their own contributions to charity.

In 2017, Giving Tuesday soared to new heights when technology mogul Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, announced their foundation would match up to $2 million in donations to Giving Tuesday fundraisers started on Facebook. Facebook similarly waived its 5 percent fee for U.S.-based nonprofits all day long.

The global Giving Tuesday movement helped raise more than $300 million online across more than 150 countries in 2017 alone. This year, the Giving Tuesday organization is poised to top their numbers and continue to improve upon the more than 46,000 participating organizations involved in their charitable efforts.

Learn more at www.givingtuesday.org.

 

3 Memorial Day weekend travel tips

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Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. In 2017, the automotive group AAA estimated that 40 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more on Memorial Day weekend. Those estimates also projected that 34.6 million vehicles would be used to make those trips.

Often referred to as "the unofficial beginning of summer," Memorial Day and the weekend that precedes it has become synonymous with beach trips and backyard barbecues. Travelers who want to avoid traffic jams and ensure their weekends get off on the right foot can benefit from employing these three travel-savvy strategies.

1. Start the weekend early.
In its "State of American Vacation 2017" survey, Project: Time Off found that 662 million vacation days were unused in 2016. People traveling for Memorial Day who typically leave some vacation days on the table can start their weekends early this year. Many offices close early the Friday before Memorial Day, and workers who aren't so lucky may just leave work early, meaning Friday afternoon traffic figures to be heavy. By leaving Thursday afternoon or evening, travelers can avoid the Friday rush to the beach.

2. Take public transportation.
Travelers who can't take an extra day off or leave work early the Friday before Memorial Day may want to consider taking public transportation to their beach destinations instead of driving themselves. In 2016, the U.S.-based data firm Inrix noted that a traffic-free Friday jaunt from New York City to Long Island's East end would take 90 minutes, while the same trip would take three hours and 40 minutes on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Travelers who can't leave early can save themselves from the stress of holiday traffic jams by letting someone else do the navigating.

3. Be patient and depart on Saturday morning.
Travelers who can be patient may find that waiting to depart for their destinations until Saturday can save them from dealing with much of the stress of traveling on Memorial Day weekend. The benefits of being patient may depend on where travelers live, as the Inrix study noted that Friday was the busiest day to leave Los Angeles on Memorial Day weekend, while San Diego residents tended to deal with the most traffic on Saturday. An added benefit of waiting until Saturday is the likelihood that such travelers will not return home until Tuesday, avoiding traffic on Monday, which tends to be the busiest return travel day of the weekend.

Memorial Day weekend travel tends to be hectic. But savvy travelers with some flexibility can take steps to make their trips less stressful.