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Dubuque Main Street’s Architecture Days, April 13-18, 2015

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Dubuque Main Street, in collaboration with many local businesses and organizations, will celebrate Architecture Days on April 13-18, 2015, featuring a schedule of tours and events inviting the public to "Be Our Guest" and shine a spotlight on historic hotels and guest houses in downtown Dubuque.

The Be Our Guest theme intends to increase appreciation of the history surrounding hotels and guest houses in Dubuque's downtown. Some of the structures to be highlighted are no longer utilized as guest houses, and others have been restored to their original purpose after a period of vacancy or alternative use.

Architecture Days, now in its 9th year, is inspired by National Architecture Week. The mission of Architecture Days is to heighten the recognition of architecture as an art form and to explore the rich architectural landscape of Dubuque through programming for all ages.

Architecture Days offers the public the opportunity to learn more about architecture and Dubuque's historic fabric, celebrating our sense of place, our unique treasures, and the city's growth through commitment to architectural re-use and community.

Activities Include:

Free Building Tours April 13-16, Noon Each Day

• Monday, April 13 | Tour of The Smokestack (the former Jefferson Hotel), 62 E. 7th St.

• Tuesday, April 14 | Tour of Hotel Julien Dubuque, 200 Main St.

• Wednesday, April 15 | Tour of The Hancock House Bed & Breakfast, 1105 Grove Terrace

• Thursday, April 16 | Tour of The Mandolin Inn, 199 Loras Blvd.

?Dubuque Community School District Student Art Exhibit 
On Display April 13-18 on the mezzanine level of Hotel Julien Dubuque, 200 Main St.
Opening reception Monday, April 13 at 6:00 P.M.
Elementary students from the Dubuque Community School District who participated in the "Be Our Guest" after-school program will display art in various mediums including sculpture, pottery and painting, at the historic Hotel Julien Dubuque.

The "Be Our Guest" after-school program was funded by a Mediacom Arts & Culture grant. The public is invited to view the art projects the entire week of Architecture Days, with an opening reception Monday, April 13, at 6:00 P.M.

Pinot's Palette Paint N' Sip Class
Tuesday, April 14, from 7:00-9:00 P.M.
($35 per person, with all materials provided.)
Attend this guided painting class featuring the historic Shot Tower and take home your custom canvas art. Attendees may bring their own beverage of choice to enjoy during the class. Space is limited to 44 attendees. Please call Pinot's Palette to register for this class at 563-587-8466.

Evening Presentation & Preservation Awards
Thursday April 16, from 6:00-8:00 P.M. | Hotel Julien Dubuque, 200 Main St.
Representatives from Hotel Julien Dubuque will give an overview of the hotel's history and recent renovation and rebirth as one of the premier area destinations. Both the City of Dubuque's 2014 Ken Kringle Historic Preservation Awards and the Dubuque County Historical Society's 2014 Preservation Awards will also be presented that evening.

Free Movie Night
Thursday, April 16, 6:00 P.M.| Carnegie-Stout Public Library, 360 W. 11th St.
Carnegie-Stout Public Library will show the classic movie Grand Hotel on Thursday, April 16, at 6:00 p.m. in the Aigler Auditorium on the Library's 3rd Floor. Admission and snacks are free, and friendly discussion will be encouraged after the show. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, the 1932 drama Grand Hotel portrays the world-weary patrons of a posh Berlin hotel. The all-star cast includes John and Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, and Greta Garbo, who famously delivers the line, 'I want to be alone.' For more information, please call the Library at 563-589-4225.

Free Historical & Architectural Walking Tour
Saturday, April 18, 10:30 A.M.
"Historic Old Main" Walking Tour hosted by Mike Gibson of Loras College and Jason Neises of Iowa State University. Meet in the lobby of Hotel Julien Dubuque, 200 Main St.

Free Children's Activity at the Carnegie-Stout Public Library
April 13-18 | Carnegie-Stout Public Library, 360 W. 11th St.
The Carnegie-Stout Public Library children's activity, in celebration of Architecture Day's Week: Construct a paper model of a house to build your own City to celebrate Architecture Days! Pick up your model at the Children's Desk during regular Library hours. Questions may be directed to the Children's Help Desk at 563-589-4225, ext. 2228.

?Downtown Dubuque Architectural Scavenger Hunt
Images of architectural elements for participants to locate will be featured in the Telegraph Herald and on the Dubuque Main Street website, available April 3. Find the locations of downtown Dubuque's historical architectural treasures and enter for a chance to win a gift package. Entries are due to the Dubuque Main Street office at 1069 Main St. by April 21.

Architecture Days is proudly sponsored by American Trust, the Diamond Jo Casino, Hotel Julien Dubuque, and Selser Schaefer Architects. Events are presented by Dubuque Main Street, in collaboration with the Carnegie-Stout Public Library, the Center for Dubuque History at Loras College, the City of Dubuque, Dubuque Community Schools, Mediacom, the Old House Enthusiasts, the National Mississippi River Museum, TH Media, the Dubuque County Historical Society, the Dubuque County Historic Preservation Commission, and the City of Dubuque's Historic Preservation Commission.

Contact Dubuque Main Street at 563-588-4400 for more information. For a printable version of the Architecture Days schedule and the scavenger hunt map visit www.dubuquemainstreet.org.


Fewer Car Crashes, Support for Businesses among the Outcomes of Complete Streets Projects

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Dubuque's Complete Streets Project included in new national survey

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Communities that used a Complete Streets approach to transportation reduced the number of automobile collisions and injuries, and increased the number of people biking, walking, and taking transit. These projects were inexpensive yet achieved core transportation goals, and were also related to increased employment, higher property values, increased net new businesses, and increased investment from the private sector according to new research released today by Smart Growth America's National Complete Streets Coalition.

Safer Streets, Stronger Economies analyzes data from 37 Complete Streets projects across the country, and explores the outcomes communities got for their investment. Relying on information collected by local departments of transportation and economic development, the new findings show just how good an investment Complete Streets projects can be.

Dubuque's Complete Streets Project was one of the 37 projects included in the research. Completed in 2012, the project involved the design of streets in Dubuque's Historic Millwork District to facilitate use by a broad range of users, including drivers, public transportation vehicles and riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, older people, children, and people with disabilities. The design included new curbs and bumpouts for improved pedestrian crossings, new energy-efficient street lights, and locally designed and manufactured benches, bike racks, and receptacles.

Dubuque's $7.7 million Complete Streets Project was funded in part through a $5.6 million U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant. A $150,000 Iowa Great Places grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs helped fund the streetscape portion of the project.

Attention to historic elements was very important to Dubuque's Complete Streets design team and the community. Old railroad tracks were kept in the pavement to pay respect to the railroad access to the Millwork District, and a special reverse mix in the concrete was used to give sidewalks an aged appearance. The project also incorporated many sustainability elements, including LED lighting for improved visibility and reduced costs, recycled concrete as base stone for the streets, recycled brick for accents along the street, and permeable pavements to reduce storm water and recharge the Mississippi River aquifer.

"People have commented how they really like the improved sidewalk and multimodal vehicle access to the area," said Jon Dienst, Civil Engineer for the City of Dubuque. "In essence, the project made the whole district a much better place to walk, drive, take transit or bike."

"The before and after data from transportation departments show that Complete Streets projects can be a tremendously good transportation investment," said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. "Some communities have gotten greater throughput, huge improvements in safety, more people biking and walking, and economic results to boot. Given their inexpensive price tags Complete Streets have to be considered by DOTs for their transportation merits alone, not to mention their health, community, and economic outcomes."

Whether it's planting trees or adding crosswalks, making travel lanes narrower or creating space for people on bikes, hundreds of communities are changing how their streets look and work – and getting a great return on public investment in the process. Read the full findings and learn more at www.smartgrowthamerica.org/safer-streets-stronger-economies.


Chocolate historically more than just food

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Many cannot resist chocolate, that beloved creamy, sweet confection derived from cocoa beans, milk and sugar. All over the world people love to indulge in chocolate. 

According to data from Leatherhead Food Research, Switzerland consumes more chocolate per capita than any country in the world. Ireland, the United Kingdom, Austria and Belgium round out the top five.

Despite its apparent popularity in Europe, chocolate was first popularized among the Olmecs of Mexico, who used the cocoa beans more than 3,500 years ago. However, it wasn't until the last 200 years that chocolate turned into the sweet treat that is known and loved today.

Aztecs believed cocoa had aphrodisiac properties, and chocolate contains a chemical called phenylethylamine, which is released naturally in the body when a person falls in love. The aroma of chocolate can induce relaxation, and chocolate also contains dopamine, a natural painkiller. 

While chocolate is now used primarily as a food, over the years it has had many other uses - some of which are quite unique. Here are some of the many ways people have used chocolate throughout history.

• Money: The Mayans once used cocoa beans as a form of currency, as did the Aztecs. In this instance, money actually did grow on trees.

• Dental health: Arman Sadeghpour, a researcher at Tulane University, says an extract of cocoa powder could be an effective alternative to using fluoride. Chocolate-enhanced toothpaste may be the next big thing.

• Fuel: Chocolate has been used to feed bacteria that produce hydrogen, which can be used as a clean power source.

• Medicine: Chocolate is full of antioxidants, which serve all sorts of disease-fighting benefits in the body. Dark chocolate provides the greatest number of health benefits, as it contains flavonols, which stimulate the brain and support the circulatory system.

• Fashion: Designers and chocolatiers worldwide collaborate to make sweet outfits at Le Salon du Chocolat's fashion shows.

• Special effects: Before the days of computer-simulated special effects, moviemakers had to employ other methods to produce realistic results. Legend has it that Bosco brand chocolate syrup was used as blood in the famed shower scene in the classic horror movie "Psycho." Bosco was used because it showed up great in black and white.

• Skin care: Cocoa butter, a component of chocolate, has long been used to moisturize and soothe dry skin. Many spas now incorporate organic chocolate into their healing and beauty therapies.

• Perfume: Chocolate produces more than 400 distinct smells and has been used to make perfume more fragrant.

• Mood enhancement: Chocolate may help to improve mood, as it is a mild stimulant and can affect serotonin levels, which govern those feel-good feelings, in the brain.

• Postage: In 2013, Belgium's post office sold limited-edition stamps that were varnished with 40 percent of a cocoa product. The stamps smelled and tasted like chocolate.

Chocolate has been tempting taste buds for thousands of years. It's also been used in some very unique ways, even if, come Valentine's Day or Easter, the majority of people would be content just to eat it.


How to litter box train your bunny

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Rabbits can make wonderful pets. If you want a pet but cats and dogs aren't for you, a rabbit can fill the void. Although rabbits may need less interaction than a dog, they still require a lot of responsibility and commitment. The task of caring for a rabbit is made easier by training your rabbit to use a litter box.

Many people have pet rabbits, and after a little training, these animals can roam the house just like other pets. Contrary to popular belief, rabbits aren't dirty. In fact, this reputation often stems from inattentiveness and lack of cleaning on the part of the pet parent. In reality, rabbits are "prey" animals who will instinctively keep a clean home to prevent the build up of odor that would reveal the location of their dens to potential predators.

Rabbits can be raised as social animals that like to interact with human handlers. Whether a rabbit is sociable is not breed-specific. This is largely dependent on the care and handling from the owner. Raised from a kit, rabbits can be accustomed to handling any human interaction and be very companionable pets.

What deters many people from rabbits is unfamiliarity with one as a pet and the prospect of many droppings being left around the house. Unlike other mammals, rabbits and other lagomorphs produce two types of droppings. Fecal pellets are the commonly found ones that are round and dry. These can be seen in piles and can number in the dozens. Rabbits will also produce cecotropes, which are formed in a region of the rabbit's digestive tract. These cecotropes contain important nutrients and healthy bacteria and fungi, which are essential to the health of a rabbit. Rabbits will eat the cecotropes as they exit the body. Fecal pellets are not usually eaten and are the droppings that will need to be contained.

It has been said that rabbits can often be litter box trained and seldom have accidents outside of the box. Rabbits prefer one or two places to put their waste. To start the process you will need patience.

• Buy a litter box that the rabbit can easily access. Standard cat litter boxes often work well.

• Confine the rabbit to one room and place the litter box in the cage with the rabbit.

• Observe where the rabbit likes to relieve itself. If it's in the litter box, this is a great first step. If not, simply move the litter box where the rabbit is doing its business.

• Once successful, give the rabbit a little bit of freedom at a time. Try letting the rabbit out of the cage in the confined room with the litter box nearby.

• Gradually give the rabbit more freedom, luring it to the box with treats and praise. Make sure the pet is aware of the litter box's location.

• If the bunny continually makes mistakes, it could be a signal that the rabbit would like the litter box moved to a different spot closer to where the accidents are occurring.

• It may take locating a few boxes around a large space before a rabbit grows acclimated to using the litter box. Then you can gradually reduce the number of boxes.

Rabbits can take time to catch on to litter box training, and even when you're fairly certain the training is complete, you may still find a few pellets left near the box.

Some people overlook rabbits as pets because of fear of the unknown and the idea of droppings all over the home. However, rabbits can make affectionate and agreeable pets for families that have the time to devote to training.


Cracking egg myths in time for Easter

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Easter eggs are a centerpiece of many family traditions come Easter Sunday. Easter eggs symbolize fertility and rebirth to some, but many people associate Easter eggs with youngsters scouring the yard in search of treasure.

Whether Easter eggs are associated with secular or religious beliefs, these colorful staples of Easter Sunday are an integral part of springtime holiday decor and celebrations. Certain misconceptions about Easter eggs have developed over time, and the following are some of the more common myths about Easter eggs that have made the rounds.

Myth: Easter eggs are safe to eat after your egg hunt is over.

Fact: Hard-boiled eggs generally remain safe to eat at room temperature for about two hours. If the temperature outside or indoors is very warm, the eggs should be eaten within one hour. People risk food-borne illnesses if they consume Easter eggs that have been left out for several hours or overnight. It is better to dispose of colored eggs after the annual egg hunt or at least keep hard-boiled eggs refrigerated until the hunt begins.

Myth: It is unsafe to eat all dyed Easter eggs.

Fact: Whether dyed eggs are safe or not depends on the type of dye used. Many kits use vegetable-based dyes that are food-safe. These same pigments are used in traditional food coloring. Even if the dye has penetrated beneath the shell, it should still be safe for consumption. Kits for blown-out eggs may use dyes that are not food-safe. Also, people who are allergic to certain food dyes might want to avoid eating dyed eggs.

Myth: Pastel-colored eggs have long-rooted religious significance.

Fact: An Easter egg hunt is a tradition that originated with pagan spring festivals. But like many pagan practices, Easter egg hunting was eventually adopted by Christians and assigned religious significance. In the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ shed on the cross. The hard shell of the egg symbolizes the sealed Tomb of Christ for many. In A.D. 1610 under Pope Paul V, the Christian Church officially adopted the Easter egg custom that the eggs symbolize the resurrection.

Myth: An Easter egg roll is an American tradition.

Fact: In Germany, England and other countries, children traditionally rolled eggs down hillsides at Easter. This practice may have initially symbolized the rolling away of the rock from Jesus Christ's tomb before his resurrection. When European immigrants arrived in North America, they brought these Easter egg traditions with them. One of the more popular Easter egg rolls of modern day takes place on the White House lawn, where children push an egg through the grass with a long-handled spoon. Some say this tradition was established by Dolly Madison in 1814.

Myth: A raw egg will stand on end during the spring equinox.

Fact: It is believed that because the sun is equidistant from the south and north poles on the spring equinox, special gravitational forces apply on this day. These forces should make it possible to balance an egg on its end only on this day. However, eggs can be balanced at other times of the year. Perhaps instead of hiding eggs for Easter, families may choose to hold egg-balancing competitions.

Easter eggs are a lasting tradition and one of the more popular symbols of the holiday. Although many myths surround Easter eggs, the truth is just waiting to be unhatched.


Julien Dubuque International Film Festival Announces Social Media Campaign

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Julien Dubuque International Film Festival (JDIFF) is excited to announce the #WhereIsCharlieDBQ campaign. Participants are encouraged to find a Charlie Chaplain display in various Dubuque locations for their chance to win screening tickets to the April 23-26 event.

Once found, organizers ask for participants to share photos of Charlie using the hashtag - #WhereIsCharlieDBQ - on Facebook and Twitter to enter to win a set of two screening tickets to any of the Film Screenings on April 23-26. Tickets will be awarded every few weeks so participants should keep an eye out for Charlie throughout Dubuque for additional chances to win. Locations will include: Clarke University Atrium, Loras College Student Center, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Food Coop & Inspire Café, Mindframe Theaters, Dubuque Regional Airport, Hotel Julien Dubuque, Roshek Building, Five Flags Center, and American Trust & Savings Bank

The #WhereIsCharlieDBQ campaign will take place Monday, March 23, until Wednesday, April 22, where he will return to the event site of Five Flags Center to welcome guests from across the country for the 4th annual Julien Dubuque International Film Festival.

This campaign promotes the unique partnership between JDIFF & the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra for the April 24 Silent Film Showcase. This event takes place at the Five Flags Theater and will feature a screening of Harold Lloyd's "The Kid Brother," with a live score by the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra under the direction of maestro Rob Tomaro. The Silent Film Showcase is sponsored by Tim & Christine Conlon and supported, in part, by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival:
The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival (JDIFF) is a four-day celebration of independent film and special events that fosters connections and exposure to yield substantial results for the independent filmmaker. JDIFF acknowledges emerging filmmakers from around the world, with a strong emphasis on discovering and encouraging new talent.


State of the City Address Set for April 8

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Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol will present his annual State of the City address on Wednesday, April 8. The luncheon event is being held in conjunction with a Young Professionals of Dubuque meeting. The event will be held at the Hotel Julien Dubuque and is hosted by the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce and Young Professionals of Dubuque.

Buol's address will focus on community investments, achievements, and plans to prepare Dubuque for the next generation. "What we have accomplished together and our legacy will be a measurable quality of life. What we are planning for is resilience and becoming a community of choice," said Buol. "Our formula for success remains: preparation, people, and partnerships. In my estimation, no City does that better than Dubuque."

The public is invited to attend this event which begins with registration at 11:45 a.m., followed by lunch, and the keynote address at 12:15 p.m. Cost is $25 per person and includes lunch. Those who wish to attend but not have lunch are also welcome. Please call 563-557-9200 to RSVP.

The event will be recorded and subsequently televised on CityChannel Dubuque (channels 8 and 85.2 on the Mediacom cable system) and archived on the City website at www.cityofdubuque.org/media. DVDs of the program will be available for checkout at the Carnegie-Stout Public Library and from the City of Dubuque Cable TV Division in the City Hall Annex at 1300 Main Street or by calling 563-589-4181.


How to safely navigate wet roadways

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Coloring the wedding: Choosing a hue for the bridesmaid gowns

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Bridesmaids are an important part of the wedding party, and most brides opt to have a handful of close friends and family members play a special role in the wedding. Choosing a gown and a color that will flatter all of the bridesmaids typically takes a little work.

An overwhelming majority of couples choose to have a formal wedding. The average number of bridesmaids for these formal weddings is four. Considering around two million weddings take place in North America every year, that's a lot of bridesmaids for whom gowns and other attire must be planned.

Many bridesmaids worry about the gowns they will wear come the big day. Horrible bridesmaid dresses have been the butt of jokes for years, and many people have their own stories of garish gowns they've been asked to don for a wedding. Some have said that brides intentionally choose ugly gowns for their bridesmaids to ensure they're not outshined come the wedding day. Although this may be the case for some, most brides aspire to select gowns that will be flattering for all. And color scheme is integral in the choice of gown.

Every well-planned wedding carries a color scheme throughout. This includes the color a bride selects for her bridesmaids to wear. But not every color accentuates everyone's features. Therefore, some experimentation might be necessary to find a color that is flattering to all and fits with the color scheme.

Depending on hair color and skin shade, there are many flattering hues available for gowns. When making this decision, consider bridesmaids' ethnicity and skin tone.

African-American: Women with dark skin and hair may really shine in jewel-colored gowns, including silver, gold, purple and salmon. Very pale colors may be daring and conspicuous.

Asian and olive-skinned women: Those with a slight yellow tone to their skin will look good in many colors, including red, navy, peach, and fuchsia. However, avoid colors in light yellow, aqua, gray, taupe, or mint, which may make the bridesmaid look washed out.

Fair skin: Ladies with pale skin will benefit from richly colored gowns in jewel tones. Pastels may work, but be careful about those depending on hair color. Pink or red-hued gowns may clash with someone with auburn hair. Yellow and green may not work with a fair brunette. Gray and silver may wash out someone who is pale and blonde.

Once a color is chosen, brides also need to consider the season. Certain colors may look out of place depending on the season. For example, an evergreen or deep blue may seem wintry during a summer wedding. Similarly, russet or brown may work for the autumn but not for a spring wedding. Many brides gravitate toward mid-level blues, greens, pinks and purples for their weddings, simply because those colors transcend the seasons.

After colors are worked out, the style of the gown deserves consideration. Because not every bridesmaid has the same physical attributes, many brides are now open to selecting a color and length and allowing the bridesmaid herself to choose the exact style. This way someone who is busty won't feel uncomfortable in strapless, and someone who is thin won't be overwhelmed by a lot of ruffles. The intent is to have bridesmaids feel beautiful and comfortable, and different styles can help achieve this.

Making the effort to choose a gown color and style that is flattering to all in the bridal party will help the ladies feel they are truly a special part of the wedding.


Getting started on spring cleaning

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For homeowners, spring cleaning is one of the annual rites of spring. The return of warmer weather presents the perfect opportunity for homeowners to open the windows, let some fresh air in and tidy up after a few months spent cooped up inside while the weather outside was frightful.

But now that spring has arrived, the time to clean up around the house has come. Homeowners about to start on their annual spring cleaning should consider the following before beginning.

Get the right tools

The right tools won't necessarily be a hammer and nails, but cleaning products that can make spring cleaning more efficient. Rubber gloves, cleaning products (preferably natural products that are good for the environment) and enough garbage bags to discard a winter's worth of clutter should all be on hand before you begin cleaning. If they're not, you'll likely need to make a trip to the store while cleaning, which can be time-consuming and prolong the process.

Take some inventory

Many people have no problem buying new clothes, but they do find it hard to get rid of older items. Part of spring cleaning is tossing old items you no longer use, and that includes clothing. Clothing can take up a significant amount of space, so take some inventory on your wardrobe and decide which items you want to keep and which ones you can afford to discard or even donate. 

Address the windows

If the last several months have been especially cold or snowy, then you might not have looked out the windows in quite some time. Unfortunately, those windows might have accumulated quite the amount of dirt and grime while you were huddled inside. When washing the windows, do so on a cloudy day, as the sun can actually cause streaking. In addition, be mindful of what you're using to wipe down the windows post-cleaning. Microfiber rags typically give windows a great shine without any streaking.

The blinds and drapes will also need to be addressed, as they have likely accumulated some dust over the last few months. Dust the valance and the frame, and wipe the blinds down with a damp cloth. You can also use your vacuum's upholstery and brush attachments to further clean blinds and drapes.

Tidy up the bed

You likely wash your bed linens regardless of the season. When spring cleaning, toss these linens into the washing machine and don't forget to wash the mattress pads and bed skirting as well. While those items are in the wash, flip all the mattresses in your household.

Don't forget the kitchen

The kitchen is not immune to clutter, and it's especially easy for items to overstay their welcome in the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinets. Look for old takeout containers in the refrigerator that have managed to stick around, and throw these out as well as any items that have passed their expiration dates. While items in the kitchen cabinets might not have an expiration date, it helps to remove them from the pantry and then dust and wipe down the shelves. When doing so, discard any items that no longer seem appetizing.

Beat the rugs

Area rugs have no doubt collected dirt and dust over the last several months. Though vacuuming these area rugs might be enough during the year, take advantage of the pleasant weather and take the rugs outside to beat them and rid them of dust and any other particles the vacuum might have missed over the last few months.

Empty and clean the bookshelves

Bookshelves are one the biggest collectors of dust in many homes. Open the windows in the home and then remove books from the shelves. Once the books have been removed, dust the shelves and wipe them down with a damp cloth. And don't forget to dust the books and reorganize titles before returning them to their newly cleaned shelves.

Spring cleaning is something all homeowners must do to keep their homes healthy and clean. Spring cleaning is an annual event at many households, and a few simple strategies can make it go much more smoothly. 


The Grand Opera House presents FAIREST OF THEM ALL

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The Grand Opera House will present Fairest of Them All, danced by the Heartland Ballet, at 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, April 11 & 18, and 2 p.m. Sundays, April 12 & 19.

This original world premier ballet is choreographed by Marina O'Rourke with music composed by David Resnick, based on the beautiful retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for those younger than 18. Tickets can be purchased through the Grand Opera House box office, 135 W. Eighth St.; by calling 563-588-1305; or by visiting www.thegrandoperahouse.com.

For more information, visit www.thegrandoperahouse.com or call 563-588-1305.


Help your home’s exterior rebound from harsh winter weather

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The seasons can be harsh on homes, and perhaps no season is more taxing on a home's exterior than winter. Harsh winter weather can take a toll on roofs, gutters, landscaping, and just about any other part of the home that must face the cold head-on. The following are a few areas of your home that might need some help rebounding from winter now that spring has finally arrived.

• Gutters: Gutters are vulnerable to winter weather, as strong winds may blow debris into the gutters or even blow the gutters off of the house. Gutters should be cleaned prior to and immediately after winter to ensure they're working properly and not backing up to the point that water can build up and damage the roof. Reattach any loose gutters and clear them of any debris left behind by winter winds.

• Roof: The roof is another area of your home's exterior that may have been beaten down over the winter. Examine the roof for cracked, missing or deformed shingles that can allow water to enter a home and damage its interior. Some roof damage is visible from the ground, but homeowners who just endured especially harsh winters may want to climb up on their roofs or hire a professional to get a closer look. Another way to determine if the roof was damaged is to go into your attic and check for water damage near roof trusses. Water damage indicates something went awry over the winter.

• Walkways and driveways: Heavy snowfall or significant accumulation of ice over the winter can result in cracked or damaged walkways, driveways and porches. Some of this damage may have resulted from aggressive shoveling or breaking up of ice. Look for any cracks in areas that needed shoveling over the winter, as such cracks can be safety hazards and may even prove to be entry points into your home for water or critters.

• Landscaping: Landscaping also tends to take a hit in areas that experience harsh winters. Winter storms may damage trees, which can put a home right in the line of falling limbs or worse. Walk around your property to inspect for tree damage, removing any fallen limbs or cutting down any limbs that appear dead or that might eventually prove a safety hazard. In addition, check the grass for any dead spots that might have fallen victim to winter freeze, and address those spots when the time comes to revitalize your lawn.

• Appliances: When surveying your property after a long winter, inspect appliances like a central air conditioning unit or even dryer vents to make sure they made it through the winter unscathed. Such appliances may have proven an attractive nesting spot for animals over the winter, but damage can be significant if vermin or other animals seek shelter from winter weather inside appliances.


Operation ReLeaf will be held in Dubuque County this Spring!

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Operation ReLeaf Applications are now available!

Operation ReLeaf is a program to help Alliant Energy customers save energy in their homes using trees to provide shade during the summer and create windbreaks during the winter.

For maximum energy efficiency, large-growing shade trees should be planted within 30 feet of the west and east of your home. Low growing trees should be planted within 20 feet of your home, and can be used to shade air conditioners. Evergreens should be planted as a windbreak on the north and west side of your home. Before ordering, we highly recommend you use the iTree design tools, which uses google earth to show you where the best placement for your tree is to reduce energy usage.

Even if you don't live in Dubuque County, you are welcome to purchase a tree at this event as long as you are an Alliant customer.

To order, just fill out the order form (found at www.dubuquecounty.org - click on "Conservation" and "Calendar of Events" and a pdf named "Operation Releaf" is the order form), print, and mail it in with a check to the address listed on the form. If you have questions about the species, just click on the species name on the order form, and you will be taken to a picture and information about the tree. Be sure to look at the mature height of the tree when selecting the tree for your site.

The local partner will then mail out a confirmation card, which you can bring to the distribution day. You should bring a truck, trailer, or van to pick up your trees, as they can be up to 9 feet tall.

Dubuque County Event Location
Dubuque County Conservation, located at Swiss Valley Park, 13606 Swiss Valley Road, Peosta, IA, will partner this event on Saturday, May 9, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am with a Workshop at 10:00 am. Because research shows that most trees are planted improperly, even by professionals, we are holding a short tree planting and care workshop. This workshop will take 30 minutes and cover the basic mistakes most people make. To register, just reply to this e-mail to let me know you would like to attend, and please specify which county.

Species available:
Shade Trees
(will be in #7 containers and will be between 5' - and 8' tall)
• Hackberry (Large shade tree native to Iowa, very tolerant of tough urban environments, salt tolerant - Grows 60' X 60')
• Swamp White Oak (Native, highly storm resistant shade tree - very tolerant of wet sites grows 60' X 60')
• Black Oak (Native oak, often confused with red oak. Attractive gloosy leaves that turn red or reddish brown in autumn. Mature height 60')
• Gingko - Presidential Gold - A seedless variety with bright yellow fall color. 50' tall by 40' wide at maturity

Flowering Ornamentals and low-growing trees (will be in #5 or #7 containers and will be between 4' and 7' tall
• American Hornbeam (Also called Blue Beech, a midsize tree which grows to 20' - 30' tall and wide. A great tree for a small spot)
• Serviceberry (Native white flowering tree - attracts songbirds; red fall color - Highly Storm Resistant)

Edible Landscape trees - #5 containers
These trees will bear fruit, so only order them if you are interested and willing to grow fruit trees in your yard. For best fruiting, order one of each variety.
• Edible Apple- Liberty or Freedom (Needs another crabapple or apple tree nearby for best fruit production; grows 15' tall and wide)
• Edible Cherry - Mesabi - grows 12 - 15' tall and wide

Conifers (will be in #5 or #7 containers and will be between 2' and 4' tall
• Eastern White Pine (Native to Iowa, Fast Growing Pine Tree, Grows to 50' to 80' with 20' to 40' spread)

Due to of the spread of Emerald Ash Borer in Iowa, we recommend planting a replacement tree within 30 feet of any existing ash trees which you do not intend to treat. Be sure to plant a diverse mix of trees on your property and in your neighborhood to reduce the possibility of losing a large number of trees due to forest health threats.

If you have any questions about tree planting and care, go to the Iowa Grove Resources page for videos, brochures, planting guides, and other urban tree information.  On The Grove, we post events such as this one, as well as current forest health information, training, grant opportunities, and research. Join the Iowa Grove today!


City of Dubuque and ECIA Launch Smarter Travel Study

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The City of Dubuque and East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) are seeking volunteers to participate in a Smarter Travel Study that will gather data to improve travel options within Dubuque.

The project is part of the Smarter Sustainable Dubuque initiative and will include the collection of anonymous data through smartphone technology on how, when, and where study participants travel within the community. The aggregate data will be analyzed and the findings used by the City of Dubuque and its transit partners to implement practices and policies that incorporate lower-cost and lower-impact travel options within Dubuque. The goal of the research is to identify and create travel options to save money, conserve resources, and improve the environment through better travel choices.

Participation in the Smarter Travel Study is open to anyone who lives in Dubuque or surrounding communities and commutes and travels in Dubuque by car, public transportation, biking, walking, or any other mode. Volunteers will be considered to be part of a research group that will provide necessary baseline information to guide the future transportation and travel policies and practices in Dubuque.

If you are interested in participating in the study or want to learn more, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/smartertravel to apply by completing a brief demographic survey. Volunteers who complete the survey will be eligible to win one $250 Hy-Vee gift card or one of three $50 gift cards and a chance to participate in a 14-day study. Volunteers selected for the study who complete the requirements will be compensated with a $50 gift card.

This study follows a Smarter Travel Pilot Study conducted in 2012. Using findings from that study and new technology on The Jule buses, significant changes were made to The Jule transit routes and implemented in January 2014. Transit ridership in Dubuque has seen a dramatic 28 percent increase over the past five years when ridership increased from 373,376 in fiscal year (FY) 2010 to 478,370 in FY2014. This increase of over 100,000 rides came in large jumps, with 50,000 of the rides between FY2011 and FY2012 during the Smarter Travel Pilot Study. More than 30,000 of the rides occurred between FY2013 and FY2014, after data collected in the pilot study was used to restructure The Jule's routes.

"Transportation decisions must be data-driven and the results of the changes made to The Jule's routes underscore the importance of local research to guide local policies," said Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol. "We are pleased to partner with ECIA and IBM Research to continue research on travel issues that affect everyone who lives and works in or visits our community."

The City, ECIA, and IBM Research are working together again to gather additional information about commuting and travel patterns in Dubuque. "Our goal is to make traveling and commuting in Dubuque even more efficient than it already is by using the data gathered in the Smarter Travel Study to provide detailed information on travel patterns; the mode of transportation used; and time of day. We want to build on the success of the Smarter Sustainable Dubuque program," said ECIA Executive Director Kelley Deutmeyer.

For more information on the Smarter Travel Study, call ECIA Director of Transportation Chandra Ravada or ECIA Executive Director Kelley Deutmeyer at 563-556-4166.



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The Grand Opera House will present the musical "Monty Python's Spamalot" June 19-21 and 25-28.

Auditions will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, April 13-14. Callbacks will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 15. Auditions and callbacks will take place at the Grand Opera House. Auditions will be open to all ages.

Those auditioning should prepare approximately 32 bars of a song in the style of the musical. Dress comfortably for movement. Readings will be provided.

"Spamalot" will be directed by Colin Muenster, with music direction by Brian Burns and choreography by Doug Mackie.

Perusal copies of the script are available and can be checked out from the Grand Opera House business office, 135 W. Eighth St., second floor. They must be returned. Business hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Information on upcoming auditions and other Grand Opera House events are available at www.thegrandoperahouse.com, or by calling the business office at 563-588-4356. Specific questions about "Spamalot" can be directed to Jill Keck at office@thegrandoperahouse.com.


Sullivan Joins Bunker Hill as New Head Golf Professional

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The City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department is pleased to introduce Mike Sullivan as its new PGA Head Golf Professional for the Bunker Hill Golf Course.

Sullivan comes to Dubuque from Kalamazoo, Mich., where he spent the last 20 years of his career as either a head PGA professional and/or director of instructions. Prior to moving to Michigan, Sullivan began his head professional career at the Dubuque Golf and Country Club.

"I am extremely excited to have this opportunity to come back to Dubuque, reunite with long-time friends, develop new relationships, and make my mark on the Bunker Hill Golf Course," Sullivan said.

As head golf professional at Bunker Hill, Sullivan will manage all aspects of the course and clubhouse operations, including budget, instruction, tournaments, leagues, merchandising, concessions, and rentals.


Dubuque Awarded Brownfield Grant for South Port Redevelopment Planning

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $200,000 to the City of Dubuque to assist in planning for the redevelopment of the South Port area in the Port of Dubuque. The EPA yesterday announced yesterday the selection of 20 communities in 16 states receiving approximately $4 million in Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (AWP) grants for cleanup and reuse of Brownfields sites to revitalize communities and strengthen local economies.

The South Port area consists of 33-acres of vacant and industrial waterfront property south of the Ice Harbor and adjacent to Dubuque's downtown. It includes the property between the Mississippi River and the railroad tracks on both the north and south sides of U.S. Highway 20 and the Julien Dubuque Bridge. Dubuque's grant application described plans to redevelop the South Port area as a "new downtown neighborhood" with expanded Mississippi Riverwalk access in a transit-oriented environment. The current plan envisions a variety of uses, including commercial, retail, recreational and residential.

The Port of Dubuque Master Plan, adopted in 2002, outlined a multi-phased redevelopment plan for the entire Port and provided the guidance for what would become a $400 million investment in the North Port, transforming 90 acres from a blighted industrial site to a vibrant recreational, educational, historical, environmental, and employment destination. Redevelopment of the South Port represents the final two phases of the plan by reclaiming underutilized and brownfield property on the South Port for mixed-use development while balancing creative visions and market demand.

The EPA is awarding up to $200,000 per recipient to work with communities on Brownfields planning activities and reuse in conjunction with community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, employment, education and health facilities, social services, transportation options, infrastructure and commerce needs. The area-wide planning approach recognizes that revitalization of the area surrounding Brownfield sites is also critical to the successful reuse of the property. The approach enables local leaders to conduct a community-wide systematic approach to identify uses and improvements in the area to foster public-private redevelopment efforts. This inclusive, locally driven planning approach advances health and equity by fostering plans for livable communities through jobs, recreation, housing, and an increased tax base.

Considered reuses of Brownfield sites include advanced manufacturing businesses, recreation hubs, mixed-income housing, community centers that serve youth and unskilled workers, leveraging existing infrastructure to support a walkable, transit-oriented community and capitalizing on Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts. This group is also leveraging partnerships with local universities, community groups, local health facilities, local businesses and other neighborhood-based nonprofit groups.

Modeled after New York State's Brownfields Opportunity Area (BOA) Program and part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities-a interagency partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development and EPA-- these grants recognize that successful, sustained community revitalization, particularly in economically distressed communities, occurs when neighborhood stakeholders, local governments and the private sector are provided tools to develop a shared plan for redevelopment and community-wide improvement.

View the full announcement from the EPA at: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/a7b2ee8e45551c138525735900404444/e95252f5efc7070e85257e030067fd3d!OpenDocument


Weekly Yard Waste Collections Resume April 6

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The City of Dubuque will resume its regular weekly curbside collection of yard waste and food scraps on Monday, April 6, but customers getting a jump start on yard work have an option now.

Residents taking advantage of recent warm weather who would like to have materials collected before April 6 are reminded they can utilize the City's winter yard waste collection service. These collections are made every Thursday through April 2 and require an appointment which can be made through a service request on the City's website at www.cityofdubuque.org/yardwaste or by calling (563) 589-4250.

Beginning on April 6, yard waste and food scraps will be collected on customers' regular curbside collection days. Materials must be placed in paper yard waste bags that display single-use yard waste stickers, 35-gallon rigid solid waste containers with either single-use yard waste stickers looped on the handles or the City's 2015 annual yard waste decal displayed, or in subscribed City wheeled carts. Brush and limbs may also be bundled with City of Dubuque brush ties that have a single-use sticker attached.

Single-use yard waste stickers are sold at City Hall and many local grocery and hardware stores and cost $1.30 each and are sold on sheets of five for $6.50. Brush ties cost $1.30 each. The 2015 annual yard waste decals cost $35 each and are only available from the City's Utility Billing Service Center by walk-up, mail-in coupon, or by phone at 563-589-4144.

For food scrap collection, City collection customers may either subscribe to use food scrap collection carts (13, 48, or 64 gallons) for a fee or place food scraps in with grass clippings, leaves, and other yard debris in their current yard waste cans, carts, and bags.

Yard waste and food scraps should not be placed in plastic bags and must be kept separate from other trash. Collections must be set out by 6 a.m. and not weigh over 40 pounds per container or bundle. The standard customer container has a maximum size of 35 gallons. For more information, contact the Public Works Department at 563-589-4250 or visit www.cityofdubuque.org/yardwaste.



Iowa Red Cross to Hold Disaster Drill

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Iowa Disaster Volunteers will gather at the Central Iowa Chapter Office in Des Moines on Tuesday afternoon.

Tornadoes, flooding severe thunderstorms and home fires are all common disasters in the state of Iowa. That's why it's crucial that the American Red Cross, an organization responsible for providing help and comfort in the face of emergencies, is as prepared as possible in advance of any unexpected event. This week (Tuesday, March 3 - Thursday, March 5) the Iowa Region of the Red Cross will practice the skills needed to step into action and help our community in the event of a large disaster.

Starting on Tuesday, disaster volunteers from across the state will gather in Des Moines to practice their roles should a large disaster occur. This includes setting up an emergency shelter and feeding large numbers of people from Red Cross emergency response vehicles. A Red Cross North Central Division (Idaho, Montana, South and North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri) Team developed the disaster scenario which will not be revealed until Tuesday afternoon.

"This is an opportunity to convene our staff, volunteers and community partners before a disaster happens and work together to be better prepared," said Dan Cataldi, Regional Disaster Officer for the Iowa Region. "An exercise like this strengthens our ability to respond quickly in an emergency by allowing more volunteers to receive hands-on training before a real disaster strikes."

In the Des Moines area, the Red Cross has partnered with the Boy Scouts of America and will station the disaster response headquarters at their facility on Scout Trail. Volunteers will begin setting up the emergency shelter at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Ankeny (6123 Scout Trail) late Tuesday afternoon and begin registering volunteers posing as "disaster clients" early Tuesday evening. Local Red Cross staff and volunteers will also be utilizing Facebook and Twitter to practice getting and giving emergency information during a disaster.

"Spring is the beginning of Iowa's severe weather season," said Leslie Schaffer, Regional Executive. "Without question, this drill will help the Red Cross be better prepared for future disasters. The more we train, the more we can help our neighbors when they truly need us."

Last year, Red Cross volunteers in Iowa provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to 704 families who faced home fires and other disaster situations, such as floods and tornadoes. They trained 59,914 people in lifesaving skills and provided 1,881 services to military members, veterans and their families. To become a trained Red Cross volunteer, go to www.redcross.org/ia.

This disaster drill comes during National Severe Weather Awareness Week. The Red Cross encourages people across the country to get ready now for severe weather that could affect you and your family.

What You Can Do:
Once you have identified types of severe weather that could affect you, it's time to get prepared.

• Get a kit
Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

• Make a plan
It is important to make sure that the entire family is prepared and informed in the event of a disaster or emergency. You may not always be together when these events take place and should have plans for making sure you are able to contact and find one another.

• Be informed
Identify local authorities that will provide up-to-date information during severe weather such as a radio station, TV channel or social media site. It's also important to know the difference between a watch and a warning. Take a minute to dispel the myths and learn severe weather facts.

• Bonus Tip: Download Red Cross Apps
To ensure you have lifesaving information at your fingertips, download Red Cross mobile apps, providing expert, emergency information when and where you need it for severe weather events like tornadoes or floods. Severe weather apps include:

• Flood App

• Tornado App

• Earthquake App

• Wildfire App

• The Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App helps children between the ages of 7 and 11 learn emergency preparedness while playing a game as monster characters. All of these Red Cross apps can be found in your app store by searching for American Red Cross.

For more information on the Red Cross, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


Finley Nursing Scholarships Available

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UnityPoint Health Finley Health Foundation and the Finley Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association announce 2015 scholarship applications are available for individuals pursuing a degree in the nursing field.

Annually, the Finley Health Foundation and Alumni Association award scholarships to qualified area students who are interested in pursuing a career in nursing through an accredited nursing program. Additionally, scholarship opportunities are available for current health care professionals seeking an associate's degree in nursing, bachelor's degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing or nurse practitioner degree.

"As we celebrate Finley's 125 years of service to the Tri-State area, we are more mindful now than ever before of the importance of supporting individuals entering the nursing profession," said Barbara Potts, Finley Health Foundation Executive Director. "It is an honor and privilege to steward the many gifts that have made this scholarship program successful for the last 30 years."

In 2014, Finley Health Foundation and the Alumni Association awarded $12,500 in scholarships. Scholarship award announcements for this year's recipients will be made by May 1, 2015.

Scholarship eligibility requirements and application can be found at unitypoint.org/dbqscholarships. The application deadline is March 31, 2015.

For scholarship information contact the Finley Health Foundation at 563-589-2358.


Applications Now Available for City of Dubuque Arts and Cultural Grants for FY 2016

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The City of Dubuque and the Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission are soliciting competitive applications from all interested parties for two distinct arts and culture funding programs for the fiscal year (FY) 2016 grant cycle, which runs July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.

Since 2005, the City of Dubuque has awarded over $2.3 million to area arts and culture organizations and other non-profits for programs that reach thousands of Dubuque adults and children each year. In addition, these funds have leveraged about $968,000 in other community support for arts and culture events and programs.

Guidelines and applications forms for both the special projects grants program and operating support grants program are available at www.cityofdubuque.org/grants.

Over the past two years, the arts and cultural affairs advisory commission and City staff worked to better align the special project arts grant program with the City Council's goals and priorities, best practices in community art funding, and the art needs of the Dubuque community. "We have examined how we can use arts and culture to engage all community members, make our residents more participatory, and ensure that arts, culture, preservation and heritage programs and events are welcoming and inclusive to those outside of a traditional audience," said Ellen Henkels, secretary of the arts and cultural affairs advisory commission.

The City of Dubuque seeks to fund artistic, creative projects that utilize community engagement at their core. Engagement features an active, two-way process in which one party motivates another to get involved or take action-and both parties experience change and growth. It promotes consistent community interaction that is a step beyond the conventional.

Eligibility for the special projects grant includes not only established, 501(C)(3) organizations, but non-profits that operate under an umbrella organization or groups that are acting as a non-profit. "The accessibility of the grants to a wide array of dynamic thinkers and groups in the community was important. We want to fund great art ideas," said Henkels. "Any non-profit group may apply for an art project through this grant, even if its primary mission is not dedicated to the arts."

The minimum grant awarded through the program will be $1,500 and the maximum will be $8,500. City staff is offering two grant workshops specific to the special project funding on April 14, 2015, at noon or at 5 p.m., in the Lacy Board Room, 3rd Floor, Carnegie-Stout Public Library, 360 W. 11th St. The deadline for applications is May 15, 2015.

The operating support fund is designed to assist 501(C) (3) arts and cultural organizations located in the city of Dubuque that primarily serve Dubuque residents with year-round arts and culture events, programs, and services and can demonstrate a record of programmatic and administrative stability. A workshop specific to operating support grants will be held at noon on March 18, 2015, in the Aigler Auditorium, 3rd Floor, Carnegie-Stout Public Library, 360 W. 11th Street. The deadline for applications is April 10, 2015.

All grants are reviewed by the arts and cultural affairs advisory commission and approved by the City Council. Current members of the commission include Sue Riedel (chairperson), Katherine Kluseman, Marina O'Rourke, Ellen Henkels, Gina Siegert, Julie Steffen, and Jessica Teckemeyer.

For additional information, please contact Megan Starr at econdev@cityofdubuque.org or 563-589-4393. Complete application materials are posted online at www.cityofdubuque.org/grants.



Registration open for SWEETEST MUD RUN IN IOWA

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NEW LIBERTY, Iowa - Registration is now open for the second annual One Tough Cookie 5k. The mud and obstacle race offers a fun, family-friendly environment for new and seasoned runners.

The course will test athletes' strength with log rolls and agility with mud climbs. Runners will trudge across the winding trails of a beautiful 300-acre property usually closed off to the public.

"From fire-breathing athletes to beginners who just want to have fun with their families and friends, this event will have something for everyone," said Race Director Jayme Ironside.

The One Tough Cookie 5k is scheduled for Saturday, June 6, 2015, at Camp Conestoga, a property owned by Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

Men, women, children and groups who register prior to May 1 will receive an early registration discount.

As a charity race, 100 percent of proceeds from the One Tough Cookie 5k will benefit leadership programs for approximately 18,000 Girl Scouts who are dedicated to making the world a better place.

More information about the race and how to register is available online: OneToughCookieRace.com


The Grand Opera House Summer Internships Available

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The Grand Opera House is offering a limited number of paid internships for the 12-week period beginning May 18 through August 8, 2015.

These internships will provide hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students, ages 18-24, interested in various careers in theater. Positions might include:

• Stage management

• Set construction and painting

• Lighting and sound

• Marketing and theater office and box office duties

Compensation is $1,800 for the 12-week internship.

Complete information and application forms are available on the Grand Opera House website at www.thegrandoperahouse.com.

Deadline to apply is April 4, 2015.

For more information, contact Jill Keck
The Grand Opera House
(563) 588-4356


American Advertising Federation of Dubuque Announces Local Advertising Awards

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On Friday, Feb. 20, the American Advertising Federation of Dubuque (AAF Dubuque) presented two honorable awards to members of the local advertising community at their annual American Advertising Awards (formerly ADDYS) ceremony. 
The AAF Silver Medal Award is presented annually by AAF Dubuque to an outstanding member of the local advertising community. The Silver Medal Award Program was established by the American Advertising Federation to recognize men and women who have made outstanding contributions to the advertising industry. This year, AAF Dubuque awarded Jeff Wilson, Production Manager at McCullough Creative, with the AAF Silver Medal Award. Wilson got his start in the advertising business in 1983 working for Jack McCullough at what is now McCullough Creative. His skills grew hand-in-hand with the company's offerings, making him an integral player in McCullough Creative's evolution with the industry. Wilson also brings a vast amount of knowledge and positivity to the table each day, which made him such a deserving candidate of this award.
AAF Dubuque also recognized one of their own with the Member of the Year award. The Member of the Year Award is given to an individual who has worked hard over the year to be a driving force behind the American Advertising Federation of Dubuque. This year, AAF Dubuque presented board member, Stephonie Schmitz, with the Member of the Year award. Schmitz joined the AAF Dubuque Board of Directors in 2013 as the American Advertising Awards Co-Director. Each year, she has helped organize, manage and execute many projects and details that go hand-in-hand with the planning of AAF Dubuque's largest event. Her effective and efficient communication to all members involved in the process has made the planning for this event smooth even amongst the many changes.


The relationship between paint and mood

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Painting is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform the look of a space. The colors homeowners choose for their walls can give rooms their own unique feel and even affect the moods of the people within them.

Finding the right shade for a bedroom or kitchen involves more than just selecting the first color that catches your eye. Design experts and psychologists alike say it may be worthwhile to choose a color that helps you feel good rather than just following design trends. The paint color you pick may add energy to a space or create a tranquil retreat where you can unwind at the end of the day.

To create a spa-like environment and a more serene space, look to shades of blue in soft variations. Cool blues are soothing colors that can help lower stress levels and promote sleep. That's why blue is a frequent fixture in bedrooms and bathrooms. Just be advised that too much blue can make a room appear cold and stark, so balance out blue with some warmer accents.

Many people do not immediately consider bright orange for their homes, but when used as an accent shade, orange can really brighten up a home. Orange is considered a shade that expands creativity and imparts a youthful appeal to a space. Consider an orange accent wall or a burst of color with orange throw pillows. If pumpkin orange is a little too bold for you, tone it down by choosing a more pastel, peachy hue, which is equally warm and energizing.

Red stimulates energy and appetite, which is why the shade is so popular in restaurants and home dining spaces. Red is a good choice for social gathering rooms but may not be the wisest choice for a bedroom, as the color may prove overstimulating.

Green can evoke composure and tranquility and works in any room of the house. Since green is the primary color of nature, it also works well for those people who want to bring some of the outdoors inside and work with the fresh starts and new growth that green can inspire. To make green feel less subdued and sleepy, work with its complementary opposite, red, by using a few bold red accents here and there to balance out the tranquility of green.

People have long related purple to royalty, and this dramatic color can add a formal, regal aspect to a home depending on the hue. Purple also may help stimulate the creative side of the brain. In paler shades of lavender, purple can seem almost ethereal and spiritual. Some designers suggest avoiding purple in a bedroom because that is a place you want your brain to rest rather than be stimulated.

Few colors are more vibrant than yellow, which can help stimulate conversation and make thoughts more focused. A luminous shade of yellow is an ideal way to make any space more welcoming and bright. Just use it sparingly, as too much yellow may not be a good thing. Yellow accents mixed with touches of purple can offer the balance needed to prevent yellow rooms from overwhelming residents and guests.

Home decorators should keep in mind that colors can be blended to create the desired environment. A color scheme based on complementary colors, or those opposite on the color wheel, may fit. Otherwise, analogous color schemes, or those colors that are next to one another on the color wheel, can create a variation that suits your design needs.


Snack foods that promote better sleep

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According to the National Sleep Foundation, changes in sleep patterns are a part of the aging process. Many people experience difficulty falling asleep and then staying asleep as they age, and that difficulty can make men and women over 50 feel more tired during the day.

But even though difficulty sleeping may be a part of aging, that does not mean men and women over 50 cannot take steps to improve their sleeping patterns. For example, certain snack foods may help to improve quality of sleep, especially when these foods replace less healthy snacking options. While men and women over 50 should always consult with their physicians before making any changes to their diets, the AARP notes that the following are a handful of snack foods that promote better sleep.

• Almonds: Magnesium is a mineral with muscle-relaxing properties, and almonds contain enough magnesium to help men and women get a better night's sleep. A small amount of almonds before bed might be enough to make falling and staying asleep easier.

• Bananas: Much like almonds, bananas provide a substantial amount of magnesium. Bananas also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which many people associate with Thanksgiving turkey. While tryptophan might be most often associated with the sleepiness people feel after eating a holiday meal, it also has been linked to better sleep quality, so a banana shortly before bed might be just what you need to fall and stay asleep.

• Cheese and crackers: One more traditional snack may just help you get a better night's sleep. Cheese and crackers contain tryptophan and carbohydrates, which can induce a better night's sleep and help you fall asleep sooner.

• Cherries: Cherries contain the sleep hormone melatonin, and the AARP notes that recent studies indicated that participants who drank tart cherry juice on a daily basis fell asleep more quickly and slept longer and better than participants who did not.

• Hummus: The primary ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are loaded with tryptophan, folate and vitamin B6. Folate has proven especially beneficial to older men and women who need help regulating their sleep patterns, while vitamin B6 helps the body regulate its clock.

• Peanut butter: Peanut butter is another snacking item loaded with tryptophan. Spread some peanut butter on a carbohydrate, whether it's a slice of toast or some crackers, before going to bed, and you may enjoy a better, longer sleep.

• Walnuts: Like cherries, walnuts contain melatonin, which can contribute to a longer, more restful night's sleep. Walnuts also can help regulate stress, which is a leading cause of sleeping difficulty.

Many men and women experience difficulty sleeping as they age. But the right foods may just help combat such problems and help men and women get a more adequate night's sleep.


Home remedies for joint pain can provide relief

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Stiff, painful joints affect a vast number of people. According to the American College of Rheumatology, arthritis and other rheumatic diseases afflict roughly 23 percent of Americans, while Canadian Health Surveys indicate that nearly 17 percent of the Canadian adult population have arthritis. The number of people living with arthritis is expected to increase as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age. 

Treatments for joint pain and stiffness range from medication to physical therapy. Finding the right regimen may take some effort, including some trial and error. For those looking for treatments they can try at home, consider these homespun remedies. (Note: Check with a physician to confirm the safety of alternative treatments before adding herbs to or modifying your existing medications.)

• Exercise more. Regular movement helps to maintain flexibility in the body's joints. Those with joint pain may shy away from exercise, but they could be doing themselves a disservice. Low-impact exercises, like swimming and water aerobics, can work out muscles and joints without adding extra stress. Walking can replace jogging or running, and yoga and pilates may be just the thing for deep stretching.

• Lose weight. Joint pain is often tied to obesity. Losing just a few pounds can ease up strain on certain joints, such as the hips, feet and knees. Shedding weight can improve mobility and decrease pain and potential future damage to joints. Exercise goes hand-in-hand with healthy eating to lose weight.

• Consider hot and cold therapies. Using a heating pad, hot shower or bath or an ice pack can work wonders on arthritis-related pains. Hot treatments will loosen up stiff joints, while cold therapy is best for acute pain relief. Do not apply hot and cold packs to the skin directly, as this can injure the skin. Wrap them in a towel first before application.

• Include anti-inflammatory foods and beverages in your diet. Explore the many different natural foods and herbs that are purported to reduce inflammation in the body. Ginger, turmeric, flaxseed, grape juice, and bromelain can alleviate inflammation and stiffness. Foods such as fatty fish and nuts high in omega-3 fatty acids also will help fight inflammation. Blueberries, garlic, celery, and kelp should be included in diets as well.

• Go for a massage. The Arthritis Foundation says regular massages can help reduce pain and stiffness and improve range of motion. The massage therapist should have experience working on people with arthritis. In addition, massages should be performed by licensed physical therapists and guided by a doctor's recommendation.

• Increase magnesium intake. Magnesium can alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. It is best ingested through dark, leafy greens but also can be taken in supplement form. Magnesium oil can be applied topically to sore joint areas.

Joint pain can impact daily life and make activities less enjoyable. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that do not require harsh medications to loosen joints and combat pain.


Comedy Competition Returns to Diamond Jo Casino

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More than 50 comics from around the country will compete in the 4th Annual Comedy $10K Competition from April 29 through May 2.

Comedians will compete over four days for their share of $10,000 in prizes, with a grand prize of $3,000. Local radio personalities will host the preliminary rounds on Wednesday, April 29, through Friday, May 1, with shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Kristi Lee of The Bob and Tom Show will host the semifinals at 7 p.m. and finals at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. Comedian B.T., originally from Muskogee, Okla., took home the top prize in 2014.

Ticket prices start at $10 for all shows and go on sale Saturday, Feb. 14, at 10 a.m. at www.diamondjodubuque.com; the Diamond Jo Casino's Diamond Club, Mississippi Moon Bar Box Office or by calling 563-690-4800.

Visit www.diamondjodubuque.com to view all upcoming concerts, comedy, Club 84 and other special events at Mississippi Moon Bar. Mississippi Moon Bar is age restricted; attendees must be 21 years or older.



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Auditions for the musical Cabaret, to be presented July 24-26, July 30-31 and August 1-2, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, March 30-31. Callbacks will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 1. Auditions and callbacks will take place at the Grand Opera House and will be open to all ages.

Those auditioning should prepare approximately 32 bars of a song in the style of the musical. Dress comfortably for a movement audition and be prepared to dance. Readings will be provided.

Cabaret will be directed by Joe Klinebriel, with music direction by Kristen Eby and choreography by Megan MacLeod.

Perusal copies of the script are available and can be checked out from the Grand Opera House business office, 135 W. Eighth St., second floor. They must be returned. Business hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Information on upcoming auditions and other Grand events are available at www.thegrandoperahouse.com or by calling the business office at 563-588-4356. Specific questions about "Cabaret" can be directed to Jill Keck at office@thegrandoperahouse.com.


Nominations open for Second Annual Iowa Job Honor Awards

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New initiative aims to encourage disadvantaged jobseekers and energize the work ethic across Iowa, by celebrating "A New Kind of Hero"

DES MOINES, IA - The Iowa Job Honor Awards is accepting nominations for its second annual awards event, to be conducted June 10, 2015 at the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa. Launched in 2014, the Awards celebrate Iowans who have overcome significant barriers to employment and the employers who hire them.

"Our society celebrates lottery winners, celebrities and professional athletes," notes founder and director Kyle Horn. "We rarely hear inspiring stories of individuals who have lifted themselves from poverty through the hard work and perseverance that leads to meaningful employment. It's time for a new kind of hero."

The Second Annual Iowa Job Honor Awards will be presented at the Iowa Association of Business and Industry annual conference on June 10-12, 2015 in the Quad Cities, before an audience of several hundred Iowa business leaders.

Top employee honorees will bring home $500 each, and winners in both the employee and employer categories will receive engraved awards. Biographical videos will be presented for all honorees. "Expect some deeply moving personal stories," says Horn. Previous honorees have overcome physical and mental disabilities, criminal convictions, limited English proficiency, and long-term unemployment in their struggle for employment.

Nominations are invited through the organization's website, www.JobHonor.org before the April 3, 2015 deadline. Inspiring videos of last year's honorees can also be viewed at the website.

"In the midst of Iowa's talent shortage, it's time for employers to get serious about Iowa's untapped workforce," says Horn. "Individuals who have overcome patterns of failure or challenges such as disability are not only highly qualified employees, but frequently they demonstrate a remarkable work ethic and loyalty."

About the Iowa Job Honor Awards:
The Iowa Job Honor Awards is an annual awards event celebrating Iowans who have overcome significant barriers to employment, and the employers who hire them. IJHA's mission is to rekindle hope and energize the work ethic across Iowa, through the celebration of a new kind of hero.



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The fifth Dubuque Museum of Art Biennial Juried Exhibition opens Saturday, March 14, 2015, generously sponsored by Premier Bank and Marella fine gift shop.

The Dubuque Museum of Art organizes this popular and competitive exhibition every two years to highlight the quality and variety of artwork currently being produced by regional artists. To enter the competition artists must live within a 200 mile radius of Dubuque, and only artwork created in the last two years qualifies.

Special thanks to this year's juror, Mrs. Jane Milosh, Director of the Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative, Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture. Mrs. Milosch will present a gallery talk on May 31st and will announce the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards for the Biennial at that time.

The 2015 Biennial was the most competitive call for entries yet with 176 artists submitting 508 works of art. Of those, 59 works by 48 artists were selected by the juror for the exhibition.

A Member Reception will be held Friday, March 13, 2015 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. The reception will also celebrate the new exhibitions Finding Beauty: Photography by Robert Rivoire and a salon style installation of works from the DUMA permanent collection.

The Dubuque Museum of Art is located at 701 Locust Street. Phone (563)557-1851 or visit www.dbqart.com.


Dubuque County Conservation Board Summer Camp Schedule

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The following camps will be offered the summer of 2015 at the Swiss Valley Nature Center. Please pay close attention to the details of the camps' ages, fees and quantity limits.

Toddling into Nature - Age 3 - "Turtles" ($4 per camper)
Session 1: Thursday & Friday, June 18 & 19, 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Session 2: Thursday & Friday, June 25 & 26, 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Toddlers will enjoy learning about the famous reptile known as the TURTLE. They will learn about their adaptations, native turtles and where to find turtles. Your child will explore the outdoors through games, books, and hands-on activities. This camp will be limited to 12 participants and registration is required by June 5, 2015.

Sapling Camp - Ages 4-6 - "Growing Wild" ($5 per camper)
Session 1: Monday & Tuesday, June 15 & 16, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Session 2: Monday & Tuesday, June 22 & 23, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
This camp is designed for preschool age and first year school students. The two-day schedule will include activities involving outdoor recreation, reading, snacks, songs, crafts, games, and hiking, all associated with growing plants. Nature is full of wonder and our 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds will have no problem embracing the awesome world of photosynthesis! Parents are encouraged to stay during camp but are not required. A snack is provided during this camp, but pack a lunch for your child as one will not be provided. This camp will be limited to 15 participants at each session and requires registration by June 5, 2015.

Maple Camp - Ages 7-9 - "Explorer Camp" ($7 per camper)
Session 1: Tuesday-Thursday, July 7-9, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Session 2: Tuesday-Thursday, July 14-16, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
This camp is made for those children who cannot get enough of the outdoors. Children ages 7 to 9 will love the hands-on activities focused on the environment and how they fit into it. Explorer camp will have the kids learning about the magic that exists every day in our many habitats! We will hike, read, explore and more! A snack is provided during this camp, but pack a lunch for your child as one will not be provided. This camp will be limited to 20 participants at each session and requires registration by June 26, 2015.

Oak Camp - Ages 10-12 - "Watersheds" ($15 per camper)
Tuesday-Friday, July 21-24, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
This camp is taking the next step into the outdoors. Participants will discover watersheds! We will explore different water habitats and get a chance to travel to streams, rivers and ponds. This camp will be limited to 20 participants and requires registration by July 10, 2015.

T.E.A. (Teen Extreme Adventures) - Ages 13-16 ($25 per camper)
Monday-Tuesday, July 28-29 (Overnight)
This camp will be an opportunity for participants to practice team building, learn about outdoor skills, camping, fire starting, and water recreation. Participants will canoe, picnic, hike, and learn about Aldo Leopold. This camp will be limited and requires registration by Wednesday, July 17, 2015.

Day Camps - Ages 5-12 - "Adventures at Swiss" ($4 per camper)
Tuesday, August 4, 9-11 am
Thursday, August 6, 9-11 am
These two day camps will allow children to hike and learn about the treasures of NE Iowa through hands-on activities. Preregistration by July 21, 2015.

To register supply the name of the camper and his/her parent or guardian, your address, email address, and phone numbers where you can be reached. Indicate which camp and how many campers you want to register in each. After this information plus the registration packet (found on www.dubuquecounty.org/conservation) and the program fee are received at Swiss Valley Nature Center, Summer Camps, 13606 Swiss Valley Rd., Peosta, IA 52068, your child will be registered.

Camps will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

If you have any questions please call the office at 563.556.6745 or email jammon@dbqco.org


Photo Exhibit at Dubuque Museum of Art

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Finding Beauty: Photographs by Robert Rivoire
February 20 - May 31, 2015
Sponsored by Cottingham & Butler

Beauty is the focus in the Kris Mozena McNamer Gallery at the Dubuque Museum of Art February 20 - May 31, 2015. Experience 15 images captured by Galena, Illinois photographer Robert Rivoire exquisitely presented in this solo exhibition.

Robert Rivoire was born and raised in Connecticut. He studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He worked in business and management for most of his career but always pursued his photographic practice. After retiring and moving to Galena with his wife in 2007, he was able to take up photography again full time.

A member reception for new exhibitions will be Friday, March 13th from 5 to 7 PM.

The Dubuque Museum of Art is located at 701 Locust Street and open Tuesday-Friday 10:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. and Saturday & Sunday 1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. with daily Admission of $6 for Adults, $5 for Seniors, $3 for Students, free for kids every day, and free to all on Thursdays thanks to Prudential Financial. 

Phone (563) 557-1851 or visit www.dbqart.com


CityChannel Dubuque to Air ‘From the Archives’

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The City of Dubuque Cable TV Division is tapping into its media vault to unveil a new showcase on CityChannel Dubuque titled "From the Archives." This new showcase features old programs and video footage recorded by Cable TV personnel since the mid-1980s and often shows a Dubuque that looks much different than the city we know today.

"From the Archives" programs include the placing of the bell tower on City Hall in 1990, an interview with noted Iowa artist and one-time Dubuque resident Francesco Licciardi in 1989, architect Alfred Caldwell's 1991 return to Eagle Point Park to see the buildings he built there in the 1930s, music from the Iowa Sesquicentennial celebration in Eagle Point Park in 1996, and footage from the Grand Excursion in 2004.

"From the Archives" presents one program per week airing at four different times on CityChannel Dubuque: Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., Fridays at 2 a.m., and Sundays at 5 p.m. Following each airing will be a promotional announcement for the next week's program. "From the Archives" will premiere on Tuesday, June 10, at 9 a.m. with the 1988 Field of Dreams press conference at Carnegie-Stout Public Library featuring stars James Earl Jones and Kevin Costner.

For the past six years, Cable TV Coordinator Craig Nowack and Video Producer Erich Moeller have been gradually digitizing old videotapes stored in the basement of City Hall Annex. "‘From the Archives' is a fun way to look back at some of Dubuque's recent history, and a great way to see what Dubuque used to look like," said Nowack.

CityChannel Dubuque is the City's government access cable channel found on channel 8 or digital 85.2 on Mediacom's cable system in Dubuque.

The channel is also streamed live on the City's website at www.cityofdubuque.org/media.

Viewers can access the channel's program guide at www.cityofdubuque.org/cabletv.

"From the Archives" programs will eventually be available for on-demand playback on the City's website.