Area Tidbits

City Arts and Culture Grants Awarded

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The Dubuque City Council recently accepted the recommendation from the Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission to award $210,000 of operating support grant funds to 13 Dubuque arts and culture organizations and $35,000 in special projects grant funds to six organizations.

The City's arts and culture grant programs are designed to support organizations that contribute to the cultural vibrancy and vitality of the community. The operating support grant is open to high-quality, established 501(c)(3) arts and culture 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.

The special project grant program was designed to support unique projects and encourage innovation in the arts and cultural offerings in the Dubuque community, foster partnerships among local organizations, and improve diversity and inclusion among residents. The requests for funding were reviewed, scored, and ranked by members of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission with careful consideration based on the program guidelines. Their recommendations were forwarded to the City Council for consideration.

Fiscal Year 2017 Operating Support Grant
The funding format for this program employs a cap and/or a percentage of the applicant's total operating costs. This year, the cap was $35,000 or seven percent of total operating costs. The organizations were tiered according to the ranking of their score and each tier contained three organizations. Organizations in the first tier received seven percent of their operating budget, those in the second tier received 6.5 percent, those in the third tier received six percent, the fourth tier received five percent, and the fifth tier received 4.2 percent of their operating budget.

Grant recipients, in ranked order, are:

Dubuque Symphony Orchestra $35,000.00

Northeast Iowa School of Music $16,329.02

Dubuque County Historical Society $35,000.00

Bell Tower Productions $20,537.37

Dubuque Arboretum Association $19,580.01

Grand Opera House $27,169.69

Fly-By-Night Productions $763.52

Dubuque Arts Council $4534.06

Colts Drum & Bugle Corps $35,000.00

Rising Star Theatre Company $2819.56

Matter $10,011.55

Dubuque County Fine Arts $2,383.34

Dubuque Barbershop Harmony Society $871.88

Total $210,000.07

FY17 Special Projects Grant
Due to the nature of the projects, the City Council approved the commission's recommendation to limit funding to no more than two consecutive years per organization. The commission also recommended that the projects be fully funded in descending order of rank.

The Commission recommended that the five top-ranked applicants be funded at their full grant request and that the organization ranked next receive partial funding equal to the remainder of the funding allotment. This year's recipient and projects are:

Dubuque Museum of Art, Self-portrait Exhibition & Teen Engagement Project $7880.65

Steeple Square, From St. Mary's to Steeple Square: A Community Portrait $7992.00

Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Podium Exchange $2500.00

Bell Tower Productions, Big Band Time Warp $4500.00

Studio Works, Art Village $7250.00

DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival, World Music Night (funded at 57.38%) $4877.35

Total $35,000

For additional information on this program, contact Arts and Cultural Affairs Coordinator Debra Alleyne at 563-690-6059 or dalleyne@cityofdubuque.org.

 

The Jule Implements Changes to Youth Bus Fare

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Beginning August 1, students will no longer ride the Jule for free. A change to Jule policy will require students to swipe an Annual Youth Pass or pay the bus fare each time they ride the bus.

Annual Youth Passes are now available for purchase and will remain valid through July 31, 2017. Students ages 11 to 18 may purchase an annual pass for $10. Students ages 6 to 10 receive their annual pass at no cost but still must be issued a card and swipe each time they board to ride for free. If students do not have an Annual Youth Pass, they must pay the youth bus fare each time they ride the bus.

Youth bus pass and per ride rates are listed below:

Annual Youth Pass (11-18 year old): $10/year
Annual Youth Pass (6-10 year old): Free (youth ride free ONLY if swiping a pass)
Bus Half Fare: $0.75/ride

Passes may be purchased at the following locations:

Intermodal Center: 950 Elm Street, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
City Hall: 50 W. 13th Street, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday

Jule staff will have passes available for sale at the following school-sponsored open houses on August 18, 2016:

Jefferson Middle School: 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Roosevelt Middle School: 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Washington Middle School: 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

For more information about the Annual Youth Passes, please visit www.cityofdubuque.org/JuleTransit or call 563-589-4196.

 

Water Leak Detection Survey Starts Monday

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Dubuque residents will see their neighborhood fire hydrants receiving a "check-up" over the next several weeks as a leak detection survey of Dubuque's water distribution system is conducted.

The City of Dubuque has contracted with Westrum Leak Detection Inc. of Stratford, Iowa, to perform the survey which is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 25, and run through August 8. The work will be conducted during the day and evening hours, including weekends.

A Westrum Leak Detection employee will visit each of the approximately 2,400 public fire hydrants in Dubuque to "listen" to the hydrant with special equipment. If any water noise is heard, a follow-up visit to that site (typically in evening hours when water usage is low) will be made to correlate between fire hydrants, or fire hydrants and water valves in the street, to pinpoint any potential leaks in water mains or private water service lines.

Leak detection surveys were conducted in 1999, 2011, and in 2014. The information gathered from the survey will be used to prioritize preventative maintenance and repairs to the water distribution system.

For additional information on this project, contact City of Dubuque Water Distribution Supervisor Brant Schueller at 563-589-4303 or bschuell@cityofdubuque.org.

 

Overnight Lane Closures of Julien Dubuque Bridge Scheduled July 25-Aug. 4

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Beginning Monday, July 25, and ending on Friday, Aug. 4, lane closures are planned for the Julien Dubuque Bridge each night from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following morning. There will be no closures on Friday, July 29; Saturday, July 30; or Sunday, July 31. Flaggers will be utilized for traffic control during this project.

The lane closure will impact approximately 1,000 feet of lane per night. Work will begin on the east side of the bridge and proceed west until completed. The work involves installation of a fiberglass duct/raceway that will carry fiber optic cables on the north side of the bridge and is a joint project of the City of Dubuque and the Wisconsin Independent Network.

 

Riverview Cener Receives Grant

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Riverview Center has received a $16,805 grant from the United Way of the Dubuque Area Tri-States to provide sexual abuse Body Safety programming for Pre-K - 6th graders so that children know they have a right to have their body respected, and what they can do when they feel unsafe.

Riverview Center's Violence Prevention Education program has a longstanding tradition of providing quality, up-to-date, and age-appropriate body safety and sexual violence prevention education to students of all ages, and professionals, in Dubuque County.

By providing Body Safety for Pre-K - 6th grade, children learn what sexual behaviors are wrong, and develop trust to feel safe reaching out for services. A student who suffered a severe sexual assault was scared and meek, both due to the abuse and due to repeatedly not being believed after disclosing the abuse she knew was wrong because of educational programming. Even though she had not received the care she deserved elsewhere, she opened up to the educator and a therapist and is now beginning to heal because of support from Riverview Center.

For over twenty years, Riverview Center has proudly provided the healing and justice survivors of sexual violence deserve, free of charge. We are a nonprofit agency committed to providing free, compassionate, client-centered care for individuals affected by sexual violence in 14 counties in Iowa, including Dubuque, Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Howard, Jones, Linn and Winneshiek Counties; and for individuals affected by sexual and domestic violence in Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties in Illinois. Regardless of means, our clients receive high-quality, professional services, including 24-hour crisis hotlines; legal, medical, and general advocacy; one-on-one counseling and support groups; professional trainings; and violence prevention initiatives.

The United Way of the Dubuque Area Tri-States connects people and resources to advance the health, education and income of those in need in our community.

Riverview Center 24-Hour Iowa Sexual Assault/Abuse Crisis Hotline: 888-557-0310

 

Protect and enjoy public parks

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Millions of people visit public parks across North America every year. Nature preserves and national parks are home to picturesque landscapes, monuments, natural wonders, and abundant wildlife. 

Visiting parks is a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature and learn something along the way, but such visits also come with a great degree of responsibility. The National Parks Service and The British Columbia Ministry of Environment provide these guidelines to remain good environmental stewards when visiting popular parks and preserves.

Know the laws
National parks may be protected by federal law that may prohibit or restrict hunting and trapping animals to specific times of year.

Wildlife living in parks may become less fearsome of people over time, especially when they grow accustomed to being fed or handled. Many parks prohibit feeding and close interacting with wildlife. Otherwise the animals may lose their hunting or foraging ability, or pose threats to people when the animals rapidly approach for an easy handout. Learn park rules so you'll know what is acceptable behavior within its borders.

Keep wild animals wild
Feeding animals is perhaps one of the more dangerous things park visitors can do. In recent years, the National Park Service has had to euthanize deer, coyotes, rock squirrels, and other animals that have become too aggressive toward humans because they grew accustomed to receiving food from people.

Keep your distance from wildlife. Use proper equipment to view or photograph animals from several feet away. Stay even further away from animals that are breeding, nesting or raising young, as parents can become particularly protective of their children and turn aggressive.

Keep a clean camp
Camping and parks often go hand-in-hand. Keep a clean camp so you are not attracting bears and other food scavengers. Use trash receptacles and store garbage and food out of reach. Cook and clean away from your tent and immediately clean any cooking supplies after you have finished your meal. Only wood and paper should be burned, and try not to prepare food or fishing bait in close proximity to your campsite.

Prepare for weather
Weather can change in an instant when you're in the wilderness. Pack accordingly, dressing in layers so you can change clothes as the weather demands. Have a flashlight and other emergency supplies available in case you get stuck in a storm.

Higher elevations and exposure to the sunlight can cause severe sunburn. Always apply and reapply sunscreen. High elevations also can increase the chance of dehydration, mountain sickness (headaches, nausea and dizziness) and the aggravation of preexisting medical conditions.

Avoid damaging vegetation
Animals are not the only natural wonders to protect. Use caution when hiking so you do not trample vegetation. Keep pets on leashes so they do not disturb sensitive habitats. Do not pick flowers or berries and take them away from the park.

Respecting local wildlife and taking steps to keep parks clean can make your hiking and camping experiences that much more enjoyable.

 

Practice good mobile manners

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Many find it difficult to remember life before mobile phones. Few people now stray far from their phones for more than a few minutes, which only highlights the important role our phones play in our everyday lives.

Data from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that 90 percent of American adults own a cell phone. Around the world, there are nearly as many mobile phones as there are people. More than half of cell phone owners find themselves checking their phones for messages or alerts even when they haven't noticed their phones ringing or vibrating.

Overdependence on mobile technology can lead to discourteous cell-phone behavior The following are some mobile manners to consider the next time your phone rings or chirps.

• Lower your voice. Be mindful of your volume and speak more softly when using your mobile phone. While you can speak as loudly as you prefer in the privacy of your own home, be considerate of those around you when making calls in public.

• Watch your language. Language that may be acceptable inside of your home is not always acceptable in public places. Clean up your act if you are using a phone outdoors, especially when you are in the company of children.

• Take a meal break. Constantly fiddling with your phone or checking emails or texts while dining out can be disrespectful to those you are dining with. Put the phone away for the duration of the meal. If an important call does come in, move away from the dining area to handle it.

• Avoid phone conversations in enclosed spaces. Others become prisoners to your conversation when you choose to use a phone while on the bus or train. If you're using apps on the phone in close proximity to others, keep the volume off.

• Give others your full attention. It's rude to be on your phone when you interact with other people, so put your phone down when the situation calls for it.

• Let it go to voicemail. Many calls are not urgent, and you can let voicemail do its job. The same can be said for texting. Not every text requires an immediate response.

• Respect quiet areas. Phones should be on silent in the theater, church and the library.

• Don't text and drive. Texting and driving is not only illegal in some areas, but also it puts others and yourself at risk for accident and/or injury. Do not let your phone be a distraction while you're behind the wheel. Store it out of reach so you are not tempted to answer incoming calls or texts.

Common courtesy and good mobile manners go together. Mobile users should think before they act when using cell phones.

 

Coupon tips for deal-seekers

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Coupons can help people, and parents in particular, save substantial amounts of money. While television shows have documented the efforts of people who take coupon usage to the extreme, many shoppers simply want to earn modest savings on their grocery bills, recognizing that saving a few dollars here or there can add up to significant savings over time.

But even if you have no desire to spend hours on end hunting down the best deals, there are some ways to make the best use of coupons without taking up much of your time.

• Understand stores' coupon policies. Begin by researching if stores you frequent have restrictions on coupon usage. Some stores will double the value of coupons and others will not. Stores may set limits on the number of coupons one register can process or how many coupons a particular shopper can use at one time. It may be possible to use two different coupons for the same item, provided one is a manufacturer's coupon and the other is store-based. The more you know about the coupon policies at your favorite stores, the more likely you are to use those policies to your advantage.

• Get organized. Using coupons effectively requires some organization. Develop a system for categorizing coupons by type or expiration date, which should ensure you don't miss out on discounts because you lost coupons or they have expired.

• Check your local free papers whenever they're delivered and subscribe to several newspapers and coupon websites. Free papers, newspapers and store circulars are still great resources for coupons, and many include inserts advertising the latest sales and coupons. You also can subscribe to coupon websites, many of which are free and deliver coupons to subscribers' email inboxes on a daily or weekly basis.

• Consider a coupon-clipping service. A coupon service will clip coupons for you and send them to you for a fee. This enables you to collect coupons from various regions where coupon values may be higher than where you live.

• Join a store loyalty program. Those cards supermarkets and other stores scan at checkout do more than just track your purchases. They typically entitle members to discounts that other shoppers are not privy to. These discounts come off the bill automatically, saving you time and money. Furthermore, being part of a store loyalty program may entitle you to emails or other advertisements on special sales not open to the general public.

• Learn how to stack coupons with store sales. Many blogs tell you which stores are running sales and how they compare to coupons in recent newspapers and circulars. This enables you to not only get the sale price on a particular item but also earn the coupon discount. This is a good way to save even more money.

• Get to know the standard prices of products. The only way to know if a coupon is a good deal is to be familiar with the going rate of the products you buy on a regular basis. When visiting the grocery store, make a note of how much your favorite items cost at full price. This way you will know when a sale is truly a sale.

• Be prepared to stock up. Some of the best deals to be had involve buy one get one free, deals which are often referred to as "BOGO" or "B1G1." When such deals can be combined with a coupon, the savings are substantial. Set aside a rack or area of the home for stockpiling your BOGO purchases.

• Don't forget about paperless coupons. Paperless coupons, or ecoupons, are often linked to store loyalty programs. Many ecoupon services require shoppers to sign up online and provide some basic information about themselves. When you go to check out at the store, you will swipe your customer card and any available ecoupons will automatically be deducted from your purchase. Ecoupons are usually redeemed at face value and cannot be doubled or shared.

• Try competitors' coupons, too. Some stores will honor coupons from their competition. If one supermarket is offering a particular BOGO deal, clip the coupon and bring it to your local store to see if they will match the discount.

Although many people will not go to extremes when using coupons, when used wisely, such discounts can help save a good deal of money.

 

How to determine if items can be composted

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Compost is an eco-friendly way to grow a healthy and flourishing garden bed or landscape. Full of nutrients and rich organic materials, compost is often called "black gold" by gardeners for the many benefits it provides. One of the main advantages to compost, apart from the way it boosts plant growth and health, is that it is relatively low cost to produce. 

Compost is created by food scraps and other materials that are left to break down naturally. Backyard composting speeds up the natural process of decomposition. In optimal conditions, organic matter can decompose more quickly.

According to the University of Illinois Extension, microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes account for most of the decomposition that takes place in a compost pile. However, insects also can do their part to create compost. Such insects are referred to as "physical composters" because they break down materials by chewing, grinding and digesting them into smaller pieces. Bacteria create an oxidation process that heats up the compost pile and aids in its decomposition.

Homeowners can create their own compost piles with just a few items. Some of the staples of composting include foods that normally would be discarded. Vegetable peels, fruit rinds, eggshells, coffee grounds, and the like can be put into a compost pile. Meats and poultry should not be placed in a compost pile because of the threat of harmful pathogens and bacteria.

Other items that are not food-related also can be added to compost piles. It may be challenging to determine which ones are applicable. These products are usually considered safe:

• paper plates with no coating

• products made from bagasse, a fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed

• cardboard boxes

• paper towels

• wax paper

• wax-covered paper cups

• products certified as compostable by BPI

• certified bio-plastics

Anything that is coated in plastic that is not a bio-plastic must go into the trash or be reused in another way.

Composting is a cost-effective, viable way to reduce trash and produce a beneficial product for gardening and landscaping.

 

Homemade ice cream makes the perfect summer treat

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Ice cream is synonymous with summer, when rising temperatures and vacations from school and work call for some refreshing celebration. Those who want to experiment with homemade ice cream may want to consider the following recipe for "Dulce de Leche Ice Cream" from Lou Seibert Pappas' "Ice Creams and Sorbets" (Chronicle Books).

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart

2 cups half-and-half or milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
12 ounces butterscotch chips, divided
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare a large bowl or pan of ice water.

In the top of a double boiler, heat the half-and-half over simmering water until steaming.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended, then whisk in the sugar. Whisk in about half of the hot half-and-half and pour the yolk mixture into the pan of half-and-half.

Stir with a silicone spatula or spoon and cook over simmering water for about 8 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of the chips and continue stirring until blended in and the custard coats the back of the spatula, about 2 minutes more.

Immediately place the custard pan in the ice bath and stir the custard occasionally until it cools to room temperature.

Transfer to a container and stir in the cream and vanilla.

Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

When the ice cream is almost frozen, add the remaining 1 cup chips and churn until blended in, about 15 seconds more.

Transfer to a container, cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

 

Enjoy a season of the arts

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Do you consider yourself a lover of music and the arts? If you do, you are in very good company. According to the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts, nearly half of American adults (roughly 115 million people) attended at least one type of visual or performing arts activity that year. Nearly the same amount participated in some type or artistic activity.

Going to the theater or attending a concert are popular ways to indulge one's passion for the arts. Fortunately, there are many additional ways for men and women to support the arts.

• Become an arts patron. If you find yourself attending shows multiple times a year, it may be worth the investment to become a patron of a performance group or a particular theater. Membership may entitle you to advance notification and the opportunity to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the masses. Many organizations even provide complementary offerings to members, including free beverages, complementary tickets to certain performances and entry to member lounges before and/or after the show. Don't dismiss local theater groups, either, as even high school and college students put on impressive shows.

• Join a discount ticket membership group. Free enrollment in a ticket benefit group is a perk available to men and women who work for certain organizations. Such groups offer discounted ticket rates to members and can help you save a good deal on the purchase of tickets over the course of a year, so speak with human resources personnel at your place of employment to determine your eligibility for such groups.

• Make it a group night out. Spread the word about a favorite play or performance by taking in a show with friends or family members. Inviting others to share in the experience may encourage a love of the arts in your loved ones. Plus, it can be more fun to attend as a group, sharing the experience and making critiques afterward. Theaters and other performance venues are often centrally located, so you can make the most of a night out with dinner before the show and drinks afterward.

• Explore different genres. If you have a tendency to gravitate toward musicals, stray from the norm and try a drama on your next night out. Expand your musical horizons as well. Don't shy away from a particular type of music because it isn't what you're accustomed to. You never know what you may discover when you experiment with different musical styles. It's quite possible you will fall in love with a new style of music.

• Shop well in advance. Although you may periodically earn discounts if you wait until the last minute to purchase tickets, it's often wise to shop around months before a performance. Shopping early affords you your choice of seats and reduces the risk of losing out to a sellout.

There is no time like the present to enjoy the arts. Don't miss the bevy of artistic endeavors that take place locally and in city centers.

 

Natural ways to reduce Lyme disease risk

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The great outdoors can be a wonder to behold. Parks, nature preserves or even some time spent in the backyard can help men, women and children reconnect with nature.

While there is plenty to enjoy about the great outdoors, certain hazards are lurking. Ticks can be both a nuisance and a danger, potentially contributing to illnesses like Lyme disease. Recognizing the dangers of ticks and how to avoid tick bites can help people reduce their risk for contracting Lyme disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that, after hatching from eggs, ticks must eat blood at every stage to survive. It can take up to three years for a tick to complete its full life cycle, meaning it needs quite a few hosts to feed on.

Ticks are part of the arachnid family, but unlike spiders, ticks attach to the skin of an animal and suck its blood. Ticks can be found just about anywhere, but they tend to gravitate toward wooded areas or tall grasses, which offer them protection and good vantage points to find an animal host. Dog owners have no doubt encountered ticks in their lifetimes, as ticks are routine problems for dogs that are not properly protected. But ticks also prey on humans.

Ticks and their bites are relatively painless, which can make it difficult for people to detect when they have been bitten. Many tick bites are harmless and do not require treatment. However, if bitten by a tick that is carrying Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, people may need to take an antibiotic to prevent any lasting health effects. As a result, people should always visit a doctor when bitten by a tick.

Pesticide repellants are some of the more effective and well-known methods to prevent tick bites and subsequent side effects. Many repellants can be used without negative side effects, but those who prefer to go a more natural route can take the following precautionary measures.

• Watch habitats. Steer clear of grassy, wooded and brushy areas. Ticks also prefer humid conditions.

• Stick to trails. Stay on trails when hiking or walking to avoid brushing up against areas where ticks may be hiding out.

• Wear proper clothing. Light-colored clothing makes it easier to spot ticks that may have made their way onto a person. Tuck pants into socks, as ticks tend to climb onto hosts from the ground up. Bare ankles provide easy access.

• Protect hair and heads. Wear a hat and/or keep long hair contained so that it isn't an attractive hiding spot for ticks.

• Shower immediately. After coming in from areas known for ticks, shower and launder clothing immediately. While showering, do a spot inspection looking for ticks on your body. Remember to look in hidden areas like under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, on the back of the knees, in and around the hair, between the legs, and around the waist.

• Clean up the yard. Make your yard less habitable to ticks by mowing the grass regularly and removing leaf litter and trim shrubs. Also, use wood chips or gravel to serve as a barrier between lawns and wooded areas of the property.

• Use natural oils. Ticks may not like the smell of garlic, lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary, among others. Dotting your body with these infused oils may make you less attractive to ticks.

 

How families can make the most of fair and festival season

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Summer is synonymous with many things, including festivals. Music fans love the festival circuit because it gives them a chance to see many of their favorite musicians in a single place while simultaneously enjoying the great outdoors. Foodies enjoy festival season because they have the opportunity to try a variety of new foods in a single day or weekend without having to travel far and wide.

Festival season also tends to be family-friendly, providing families with numerous chances to spend quality time together. Festival season is even more enjoyable when parents take the time to plan their visits so their Saturday or Sunday afternoons at festivals go as smoothly as possible.

• Do your homework. Festivals tend to offer an array of entertainment and cuisine, and that can be a lot to digest all at once. Parents can ensure they get everything they want out of a festival by studying the festival schedule and offerings ahead of time rather than arriving and trying to take in everything at once.

• Bring supplies. Conditions can be unpleasant during summer festival season, when rising temperatures and long lines can try families' patience. Bring enough sunscreen to ensure no one gets sunburned, and explore the festival guidelines in advance to determine what you can bring onto the festival grounds. If it's permissable to bring water onto the grounds, bring enough to keep everyone hydrated. In addition, bring hats and sunglasses as well as bug spray to keep potentially pesky insects at bay.

• Explore transportation options. Festivals can attract considerable crowds, and families who want to avoid being stuck in traffic should explore their options with regard to getting to and from the festivals they plan to visit. Use public transportation where available. Public transportation can help families avoid potentially costly parking fees and relieve parents of the stress of navigating traffic jams. If public transportation is not available, look for free or low-cost parking lots in the vicinity of the festival.

• Consider the viability of strollers. Parents who typically transport their tots in strollers may want to reconsider taking strollers to summer festivals. Large crowds can be difficult to negotiate with strollers in tow, and parents may find strollers more frustrating than functional at popular festivals. If you must bring a stroller, leave the large jogging stroller at home in favor of a compact stroller that's comfortable for kids and easy to push through crowds.

Summer festival season tends to be family-friendly, and parents can take certain steps to ensure the festival season is even more enjoyable.

 

Tips for grilling the perfect burger

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Hamburgers are a staple at backyard barbecues. Though burgers are a relatively simple food, mastering the technique to grill burgers is no small feat, as there is more to great grilled burgers than simply firing up the grill and dropping down a patty. 

• Choose fresh ground beef that has a decent percentage of fat. The fat-to-lean meat ratio should be around 20 percent fat to 80 percent meat. Spend a little more to get freshly ground meat that has not been previously frozen.

• Don't overwork the burgers with a lot of handling. This will warm up the fat in the burger, which causes it to emulsify and could make the meat rubbery.

• Reconsider adding a lot of herbs, spices or add-ins to the burgers, as such items can detract from the flavor of the meat. Extra herbs and spices also may require extra mixing, which can lead overhandling.

• Push a dimple into the top of the burger, which will help prevent the burger from expanding upward and out while cooking and rounding out in the process. The dimple will keep the top of the burger flat, which facilitates easy topping.

• Make sure the grill is hot. Burgers do well with high heat and will cook relatively quickly.

• Resist the urge to push down on the patty with your spatula. This will cause the juices to spill out and may result in a dry, tough burger.

• Let burgers rest before serving. This lets the juices redistribute throughout and makes for a moist and tasty first bite.

 

How to check your deck for problems

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Summer party season is in full swing, and that means scores of people will be relaxing with family and friends on their decks. But such gatherings are only as fun as they are safe, and responsible hosts and homeowners must inspect their decks for signs of trouble before hosting their first summer soiree.

Deck inspections can be relatively simple, especially for those homeowners whose decks are newly built or recently refurbished. But even a new deck should be inspected to ensure the safety of all who will be spending time on the deck in the months to come. The following are a few tips to help homeowners spot trouble spots on their decks.

• Check the wood. Split or decaying wood is a trouble spot that will need to be addressed. Such wood may feel spongy or break off without splintering, and those things are indicative of rot. Another sign of trouble to look for with regard to the wood is whether or not it has any holes. Holes may be a symptom of insect infestation, which can compromise the safety of the deck over time.

• Inspect the ledger board. The ledger board is a weight-bearing board that connects the deck to the house. Over time, the gap between the ledger board and the house may widen. In such instances, simply tighten the bolts. When inspecting the ledger board, examine the flashing that surrounds it. Flashing prevents the buildup of moisture that causes rot, and when there is an issue with the flashing, it's often noticeable because mud and debris has become stuck between the flashing and the exterior wall of the home. Clear any such debris and then seal the overlapping areas with caulk.

• Inspect support posts. Support posts should be firmly connected to the beams below the deck floor. Loose connections between the support posts and beams should be tightened, and replace any bolts that need replacing.

• Inspect the surface. The elements can be harsh on a deck, so inspect the surface to ensure there is no buildup of mildew, power washing any areas where mildew has started to accumulate. Different deck materials may need certain types of cleaners, so consult with the company who built your deck or speak to a local home improvement specialist to determine which type of cleaning solution your deck needs. Once the deck has been power washed, allow it to dry before applying any additional layers of finish.

• Ensure railings are not loose. Grasp and shake the deck's railings to ensure none are loose and all provide ample support for anyone who will be enjoying the deck. Balusters are the short pillars or columns that run perpendicular to the railings and the walking surface of the deck, and these should also be checked to ensure they are not loose. Youngsters may lean against the balusters when relaxing on the deck, so it's imperative that none are loose.

Deck inspections ideally should be performed in spring before homeowners host their first get-together, but it's never too late for safety. If any problems are discovered, everyone should steer clear of the deck until those issues have been addressed.

 

Dubuque's New Property Maintenance Code in Effect

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The 2015 International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), along with local amendments adopted by the Dubuque City Council in March, went into effect on Friday, July 1, 2016. This code, along with local amendments, will be referred to as the International Property Maintenance Code of the City of Dubuque. It replaces the housing regulations previously located in Title 6, Chapter 6 of the City Code.

The new property maintenance code applies to all property types and is primarily being used by the Housing & Community Development Department for routinely scheduled rental licensing inspections and housing complaint inspections. The Building Services Department will utilize the code for vacant and abandoned property inspections. The code provides a standard for property maintenance and establishes minimum requirements for light, ventilation, and occupancy limitations; plumbing facilities and fixture requirements; mechanical and electrical requirements; and fire safety requirements in existing structures and properties.

The IPMC and local amendments were adopted following an extensive review with input from stakeholders including the Dubuque Area Landlord Association, several neighborhood associations, the Housing Commission, Community Development Advisory Commission, and Housing Code Board of Appeals.

Local amendments to the IPMC included changes to provisions on the following: sidewalks/driveways for consistency with current engineering standards; weeds and rubbish to allow for a property owner to assign responsibility for lawn mowing and rubbish removal in certain instances as approved in state code; motor vehicle storage to remain consistent with the currently adopted Uniform Development Code; protective treatment and interior surfaces to add lead-based paint requirements; and address identification to allow for existing non-conforming address identifiers when approved by the fire official.

The differences expected to be most significant between the old housing code and the new property maintenance code include:

repairs must be executed in a workmanlike manner;

equipment and appliances must be properly installed and maintained in a safe working condition and in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations;

and the required addition of smoke alarms inside each sleeping room.

Use of the new property maintenance code is expected to improve efficiency and consistency of inspections by providing increased resources for staff and public training and available guidance on code interpretations. The IPMC is also expected to increase the quality of rental housing stock in the community as a result of higher standards on safety and maintenance required by the code, and is expected to have a positive impact for those who already operate quality rentals.

The IPMC is currently adopted and/or used in 37 states and the District of Columbia. More than 30 Iowa communities use all or a substantial portion of the IPMC. The code is updated every three years by the International Code Council, which is comprised of professionals from all over the country who collaborate on establishing code for all aspects of construction, fire safety, and property maintenance.

Licensed rental property owners/managers were notified of the code change when license renewal notices were sent out following the City Council's adoption of the code in March.

Links to the Dubuque Property Maintenance Code are available on the City of Dubuque website at www.cityofdubuque.org/pmc. For more information, please contact Rental Licensing and Inspections Supervisor Ben Pothoff at 563-690-6075 or bpothoff@cityofdubuque.org.

 

 

Housing Department Offering Home Ownership Workshop in August

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The City of Dubuque Housing and Community Development Department will host a "Home Ownership Made Easy" (HOME) workshop in August to provide information on City programs, credit and basic banking/insurance, and energy savings for those who rent or own a home.

The workshop is comprised of four classes that span four consecutive Monday evenings from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The first class begins Monday, August 1.

Workshop courses will be held in Suite 312 on the third floor of the Historic Federal Building, 350 W. Sixth St. Cost is $25 per household for four classes, or free for those already participating in the City's Housing Choice Voucher Program. The HOME workshop is required for those who wish to qualify for City homebuyer incentives.

The four-week workshop classes are broken down as follows:

Week One: City Programs and Useful Tips, presented by City staff

Week Two: The Keys to Your Home-Spending Plans and Credit, presented by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Dubuque County

Week Three: Basic Banking, presented by lender/insurance agent

Week Four: The Energy Wise Take a Closer Look, presented by City staff/GreenIowa Americorp

Pre-registration is required to attend. To register, please call 563-589-4239.

 

DRA Grant Helps Improve Area Residential Care Technology Upgrades

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Thanks to a Dubuque Racing Association grant in the amount of $12,500 (awarded in May 2016) Area Residential Care was able to purchase 45 computers with cases and accessories this month to use for its new electronic data collection program. These computers are vital to accurate record-keeping, quality improvement measures and in increasing the amount of meaningful time staff can work with individuals in Area Residential Care's programs.

Once the computers are installed on August 1, 2016, Area Residential Care will be able to successfully move forward on technology upgrades needed to assist with the mission to "empower people with intellectual disabilities to achieve their highest quality of life."

Area Residential Care is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to empowering people with intellectual disabilities to achieve their highest quality of life. The organization was founded in 1968 by a group of passionate individuals and has grown to serve an average of 250 people with disabilities annually; providing residential, vocational, and day services in the Dubuque, Dyersville, and Manchester communities. For more information, visit www.arearesidentialcare.org or call 563.556.7560.

 

How to clean your jewelry

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Engagement rings are not only tangible investments in the future of a relationship, they're also investments in a more traditional sense. Men and women save for months to purchase these special symbols of love and fidelity that will be treasured for years to come. 

Properly caring for any kind of fine jewelry can help it retain its luster and beauty, as well as its value. According to a 2011 Engagement & Jewelry Survey from XO Group Inc., formerly The Knot Inc. and owners of TheKnot.com, the average American engagement ring costs $5,200, and wedding bands only add to those costs. Upon making such significant investments, it's no surprise that couples prioritize proper care and cleaning techniques to protect their jewelry, and the following are a few ways to do just that.

• First examine all the prongs on settings, clasps and other components of the rings to make sure they are secure. Otherwise, pieces or stones could come loose and be lost during the cleaning process. If anything is loose, bring it to a jeweler for repairs.

• When cleaning, try soap and water first before moving on to harsher chemicals if necessary. Soft, porous jewelry, such as opals, pearls and turquoise, should only be cleaned in this type of solution to ensure they look their best. Select a mild cleanser, like a gentle clothing detergent or dish soap. Add a few drops to two cups of warm water and quickly dip the jewelry. Use a soft, dry cloth to dry and buff, then lay gems flat to air dry further. If stones need a little more elbow grease, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scour gently.

• White vinegar is another tool to use when cleaning jewelry. Drop gemstones and gold jewelry into a small jar of vinegar for roughly 15 minutes. Agitate the jar to dislodge any debris. Remove the jewelry and rinse off under water, then dry off.

• Ammonia also can clean jewelry quite effectively, but its aroma may turn people off. Diamond jewelry, in particular, can be soaked in one cup of warm water mixed with 1/4 cup ammonia for roughly 10 to 15 minutes. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean any grime from the crevices of the setting and beneath the diamond. Rinse off and allow to dry before wearing. If diamonds are set in platinum, ammonia will also clean the setting effectively.

• For silver jewelry, use aluminum foil to clean tarnished silver. Line a tray with a piece of crumpled aluminum foil and place your jewelry on the foil. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the jewelry, then pour boiling water over it. The tarnish will transfer from the jewelry to the foil. You may need to flip or move the jewelry around so all sides come in contact with the foil. Remove and rinse with water. Otherwise, try a specialized silver cleaning paste or solution purchased at the drug store.

• Many jewelry stores will clean jewelry free of charge, especially if couples return to the store where the rings were purchased. Some use high-pressured steam to loosen dirt and debris, while others use jewelry cleaning solutions.

When jewelry isn't being worn, it should be carefully stored inside a jewelry box or the box in which it was shipped or purchased. Place jewelry back in the same place each time so it does not get lost. Try not to take off expensive rings in the bathroom and leave them on the sink, where they are vulnerable to falling down the drain.

Remove rings and other jewelry if you will be using your hands to mix messy foods or to work with paint, soil or other materials that might put jewelry in jeopardy. Removing jewelry prevents scratching and keeps particles from lodging in the stones or setting.

Caring for jewelry can make it last a lifetime. Then jewelry can even be passed down to other generations.

 

How to fend off a fruit fly invasion

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Homeowners who have dealt with insect infestations know that even the smallest critters can make for formidable foes. A single insect might not seem like a substantial problem, but such uninvited guests have a tendency to multiply, quickly becoming a problem for less proactive homeowners.

Such is the case with fruit flies. Though small in stature, fruit flies can prove a pesky, food-contaminating nuisance. As their name implies, fruit flies are attracted to ripening fruits, which serve as a food source and a breeding ground. Fruit flies also breed around garbage disposals, drains and garbage cans while facilitating the transmission of bacteria that can prove harmful to human health.

Fortunately, homeowners can employ a combination of strategies to fend off fruit fly infestations before they take root.

• Locate and eliminate potential breeding grounds. Fruit flies are seen swarming around trash cans and areas where food has been left out. According to TERRO®, an industry leader in DIY pest control products, fruit fly populations tend to be greatest during the summer and fall months, when they infest fruits during the harvest season.

Pay particular attention to trash containers during these times of year, discarding trash more frequently if necessary and making sure all trash can lids are tightly closed. In addition, place ripened fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator during these times of year.

• Trap flies before they can breed and multiply. Fermenting fruit or moist organic debris is necessary to complete the fruit fly life cycle. TERRO® Fruit Fly Traps, which last 30 days, employ a non-toxic, food-based liquid lure to attract and trap fruit flies. Once inside, fruit flies cannot escape, eliminating their chance to breed and multiply. Before placing traps, pay attention to where fruit flies tend to be most problematic and place the apple-shaped traps in those areas.

"The key to successful elimination of fruit flies is to locate their breeding source and place the TERRO® Fruit Fly Trap nearby," says TERRO® Director of Research Stew Clark. "Look for fruit fly sources in areas where unrefrigerated fruits and vegetables are stored, near garbage cans and recycling bins."

Once you identify potential breeding grounds, activate the apple-shaped trap by pulling the leaf-like lid from its base and pouring the liquid lure into the vapor chamber. Keep the lid open while the trap is in use, and you should notice a significant decrease in the number of fruit flies within a few days.

• Keep a clean home. Clean homes, and tidy kitchens in particular, are less likely to be overcome with fruit fly infestations. After cooking meals, be sure to clean all surfaces with which food has come in contact. Clean any spilled drinks, since sweet and sticky beverages like soda and wine lure fruit flies. It's also important to keep cleaning materials, such as mops and drains, clean, since fruit flies can continue to breed in soiled mops and dirty drains.

Though small in stature, fruit flies can prove harmful to human health, spreading bacteria while also serving as a pesky nuisance. But while many might see fruit flies as an inevitable side effect of warmer weather, these uninvited guests can be quickly and easily eliminated. More information about TERRO® Fruit Fly Traps is available at www.terro.com.

 

Six innovative ways to indulge in ice cream

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Ice cream is a popular dessert that's enjoyed across the globe. Blending the cold and the creamy, ice cream is an ideal treat on a hot day. According to IceCream.com, 87 percent of Americans have ice cream in their freezer at any given time. While Americans may enjoy their ice cream, New Zealand consumes more ice cream than any country in the world.

Historians and foodies believe Ancient Greeks enjoyed a dessert similar to ice cream as early as the 5th century B.C. Considering ice cream has been around so long, and that many cultures have created their own take on frozen treats, from gelato to sorbet to frozen yogurts, one may think there aren't many new ways to indulge in this beloved dessert. But with a little creativity, anyone can come up with innovative ways to serve ice cream or any of its frozen cousins. The following are just a few different recipe inspirations.

1. Lightly butter flour tortillas and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar. Drape the tortillas over the rungs of the shelves in an oven, placing a cookie sheet underneath to catch any drips. Bake at 300 F until just crisp. Fill with your favorite ice cream for some frozen dessert tacos.

2. Create your own ice cream sandwiches from any firm cookies or dessert bars you have on hand. For example, cut two thin slices of fudge brownies. Spread softened ice cream in a complementary flavor, such as peanut butter or black cherry vanilla, in between the brownie sandwich pieces. Freeze to firm everything up and make it easier to eat.

3. Fried ice cream pairs the seemingly incompatible frozen dessert with heat. Freeze scoops of ice cream until they are solid, dip them in an egg wash and coat with crushed cookie crumbs. You can then refreeze the finished ice cream balls and have them set to fry in time for dessert.

4. Ice cream and frozen waffles make a quick dessert in a pinch. Raid the freezer for the ingredients, toast the waffles and then sandwich with ice cream. Top with fresh fruit and whipped cream, if desired.

5. Spoon your favorite cookie dough into a muffin tin and mold the dough so it lines the individual cups of the tin. Bake until firm and let cool. Use the cookie cups to make holders for little ice cream sundaes for parties. Their diminutive size makes them ideal for kids.

6. Whip up your own ice cream cake. Place a thin layer of any flavor cake on the bottom of a dish or pan that can be placed into the freezer. Scoop softened ice cream on top, then continue to layer as desired, finishing with ice cream as the final layer. Let freeze several hours until firmed up, then enjoy.

Ice cream can be enjoyed in cones, cups, a la mode or as part of soda floats. There is really no limit to what can be created with this popular dessert treat.

 

Master magical marinades

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Grilled foods boast inviting flavors that put many diners on the lookout for second helpings. Quite often the magic behind grilled meals lies in the marinade used to give foods that flavorful kick. 

Marinades can be used to enhance the flavor of meats, vegetables and poultry. While marinades add flavor, they also may be responsible for some other benefits in grilled foods.

Marinades add flavor
Defined as a savory acidic sauce in which food is soaked to enrich its flavor, marinades help break down fiber and tenderize certain foods. The base of many marinades includes vinegar, lemon juice or wine, and marinades can be enhanced with spices, oil and herbs.

It's important not to let foods sit in marinades for too long, as any alcohol, acid or salt in the mixture can chemically "cook" the food in a process known as "denaturing." Adhere to timing recommendations when using store-bought marinades, and keep such guidelines in mind when using homemade marinades as well. Many may tell you to let foods sit no longer than four hours. Marinades with citrus juices may require even less time for flavor to penetrate.

The timing of marinade use also will depend on the foods being marinated. Delicate items, such as seafood, may change with regard to texture or color in a matter of minutes. 

It's important to always marinate foods in the refrigerator. Food left sitting out on a counter - even when it's in a marinade - invites the growth of bacteria. If a recipe calls for marinating at room temperature, continue to marinate in the refrigerator, but extend the length of time you marinate. This helps to prevent foodborne illnesses. 

When marinating, use plastic or glass containers so the marinade does not cause a chemical reaction, which may occur if you marinate foods in metal containers. Discard all marinades for raw meats and poultry when the time comes to cook the foods, as leftover marinades may contain bacteria that makes them unsafe to reuse on other foods.

The nutritional benefits of marinating
In addition to flavor, marinades may improve the nutritional value of grilled foods. In 2008, researchers at Kansas State University discovered that marinating meat in antioxidant-rich spice blends can reduce the risk of forming heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, by more than 80 percent. HCAs are harmful, cancer-causing compounds that form when food chars over an open flame at high temperatures. Marinades must be rich in spices to have any HCA-busting properties.

Marinades are secret weapons in the creation of tasty, tender and healthy foods. They come in quite handy when grilling, and add an extra dose of flavor when cooking over high heat.

 

Prevent mobile phone-related auto accidents

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Control mold when using air conditioning

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Exposure to mold in a home can be hazardous, leading to any number of adverse health effects, including respiratory distress. Certain strains of mold may release mycotoxins, which can cause bleeding in the lungs and pneumonia. 

Mold can grow in any dark and damp spot, which makes air conditioning units prime locations for mold proliferation. Mold spores can be circulated through a home via a central air conditioning system or window air conditioning unit.

Mold spores in the air are very easy to inhale, especially for young children and elderly people.

Air conditioners also are susceptible to mold growth. Preventing mold from becoming a problem means being in tune to indicators that mold may be present, and then taking the necessary actions to eradicate that mold and preventing future growth.

Visible mold or a musty smell when operating the air conditioner are prime indicators of a problem. If you suspect mold has infiltrated your air conditioning system, consider these tips.

• Keep equipment clean. Routinely clean dirt and debris out of air conditioning ducts and equipment. Pay special attention to organic matter, such as dirt, that may come in from outdoors.

• Eliminate water sources. Standing water presents an ideal breeding ground for mold. If there is excess water present in or around the system, have your AC unit serviced.

• Change the filter. Many manufacturers recommend change an HVAC filters and window unit filters once every three months at a minimum. This can prevent mold growth and reduce allergens like dust and dirt that circulate through the air.

• Clean up the mold. Homeowners may be able to clean up a minor mold problem, but larger issues are best left to a professional. Exposure to mold can put a person and the entire household at risk, especially if mold spores are disrupted. Air conditioning repair companies and mold-removal specialists are better equipped to clean and contain mold. 

If you clean a window unit, make sure that all components are completely dry before reassembling the parts. Damp conditions can lead to more mold.

Air conditioning can be a life-saver during the summer. But men and women must make sure mold doesn't become a problem while their AC systems are in use.

 

Keep cool in the face of summer heat

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The months of July and August are often referred to as "the dog days of summer," a phrase that can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The "dog days" are a reference to the dog star, Sirius, which appeared to rise just before the sun in late July, when temperatures were at their hottest. As a result, the phrase "dog days" remains synonymous with summer heat in the Northern Hemisphere.

Keeping cool during the dog days of summer can be difficult, especially for people who live in humid climates. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States, with the National Vital Statistics System reporting a total of more than 7,400 deaths between 1999 and 2010. Many of those deaths could have been prevented had people taken steps to keep cool in the face of summer heat.

• Choose wisely when spending time outdoors. As hot as summer can be, many people still want to enjoy some time outdoors. You don't have to spend summer indoors to survive the summer heat, but it helps to choose the time you spend outdoors wisely. Avoid spending time outdoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Temperatures soar and peak during these hours, and the American Melanoma Foundation notes that UV radiation reaches its peak intensity at approximately 1 p.m. The more intense that UV radiation is, the more susceptible people are to UV-related sun damage to their skin. If you prefer to exercise outdoors during the summer, do so in the early morning or in the evening, when temperatures tend to be lower and UV radiation is less of a threat.

• Limit time spent outside. It's okay to spend time outside in the summer, just make sure you are not outside for extended periods of time on hot days. Exposure to sustained heat can adversely affect the body's ability to sweat. Sweat might be uncomfortable, but it helps to regulate body temperature by cooling the body. People who cannot sweat or suddenly stop perspiring can succumb to heat exhaustion or heat stroke very quickly. If you must spend time outdoors on hot days, take periodic breaks to go indoors, heading inside immediately if you realize your body is no longer producing sweat.

• Stay hydrated. Come the dog days of summer, keep a water bottle with you at all times, refilling it throughout the day as necessary. The American Heart Association notes that the heart can more easily pump blood through blood vessels to the muscles when it is hydrated. That means the heart isn't working as hard as it would have to if you were not staying hydrated. Dehydration reduces the body's ability to sweat and maintain a normal body temperature, so stay hydrated on hot days by drinking water throughout the day.

• Make cool dietary choices. When planning meals on hot days, choose light foods and opt for small portions so you aren't fighting feelings of sluggishness that can compound any heat-related feelings of listlessness you're already coping with. In addition, choose meals that don't require you to turn on the oven. Hot ovens can make homes, even those with fully functioning air conditioning systems, far less comfortable on especially hot days.

The dog days of summer are often marked by humidity and blazing sun. Overcoming those factors may require altering certain habits.

 

The Grand Opera House Presents La Cage aux Folles

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The Grand Opera House will present La Cage aux Folles, book by Harvey Fierstein, music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman based on the play by Jean Poiret with performances on July 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30, 2016 at 7:30PM and July 24 and 31, 2016 at 2:00PM.

Winner of the Tony Award for Best New Musical in 1984 and Best Revival of a Musical in both 2005 and 2010, La Cage Aux Folles remains one of Broadway's all-time biggest hits.

After twenty years of un-wedded bliss Georges and Albin, two men partnered for-better-or-worse, get a bit of both when Georges' son (fathered during a one-night fling) announces his impending marriage to the daughter of a right-wing politician. Further complicating the situation is the 'family business': Albin and Georges run a drag nightclub in St. Tropez, where Albin is the "star" performer 'Zaza'. Georges reluctantly agrees to masquerade as "normal" when he meets the family of the bride-to-be. But Albin has other plans, with hilarious results.

This traditional Jerry Herman musical about an "un-traditional family" is on par with his greatest hits, Hello Dolly and Mame.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for those younger than 18. Tickets can be purchased at the Grand Opera House box office noon-4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, by calling 563-588-1305, or by visiting www.thegrandoperahouse.com.

 

Who won the coveted “chicken-on-a-stick” trophy at the 15th annual Corporate & Community Games?

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On June 24 at Port of Dubuque, 67 teams from all over the tri-states competed in Area Residential Care's fifteenth annual Corporate & Community Games and helped raise over $25,000. Each team played silly games for the Area Residential Care's serious mission of empowering people with intellectual disabilities to achieve their highest quality of life.

Team RE/MAX, of Re/Max Advantage Reality in Dubuque, took away first place and the Athletic Supporter Award, where they took back to the office the "chicken-on-a-stick" trophy.

John Deere DBQ Works won second prize, and Mi-T-M Wrenchbomb walked away with third.

For Best Team Spirit, the Rotary Club of Dubuque brought their cheer and Unified Therapy Services won for best costume.

Area Residential Care's fundraising event is supported with more than eighty volunteers, many in-kind services, local sponsorships and teams comprised of friends, family or co-workers.

"Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped with the games, to all of the businesses that put together teams of their employees, to all of those employees who bravely competed, and to all of the other people who turned out to cheer on their friends, for making this one of the best Corporate Games events in our fifteen years of doing this," said Jon Romaine, Executive Director of Area Residential Care.

All proceeds from this event benefit Area Residential Care and the more than 250 individuals served by the agency annually. The premier sponsors for this year's Games are Theisen's Farm Home Auto, Mystique Casino, and River Valley Capital. Major sponsors include: American Trust & Savings Bank, Dubuque Bank & Trust, DuTrac Community Credit Union and Prudential Retirement. Platinum sponsors include Anderson Eagle Window and Door, Murphy Construction, Rousselot and Spahn and Rose.

Area Residential Care is a non-profit that has provided services for people with intellectual disabilities since 1968. The organization has grown over the past 48 years to serve an average of 250 people with disabilities annually, providing residential, vocational, and day services in Dubuque, Dyersville and Manchester communities.

For additional information, contact Ellen Dettmer at (563) 557-4743 or go to www.arearesidentialcare.org.

 

Make the most of al fresco dining

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When the weather permits, many people enjoy eating meals outside. Al fresco dining may be available at both high-end restaurants and more intimate cafes. 

Al fresco comes from the Italian term for "open air." Restaurants have recognized the draw of outdoor seating and many have expanded their offerings. While many people need nothing more than an outdoor table and some nice weather to enjoy eating outside, there are some ways to make al fresco dining experiences as pleasant as possible.

• Do your research before visiting. Drive or walk by a restaurant before dining there yourself. Check out how outdoor diners are treated and if the service is as prompt as it is indoors. Pay attention to foot and vehicle traffic near the tables to determine if the spot is conducive to eating. Too much noise or car exhaust can detract from the meal.

• Look for covered tables. It's one thing to sit outside and enjoy some cool breezes. It's quite another to spend an hour or more directly under the blazing sun. Dine at an establishment that has a gazebo, portico, overhang, or individual patio umbrellas at each table. This way you can be comfortable and avoid sunburn.

• Call ahead for seating. Because al fresco dining is so popular when the weather is warm, outdoor tables can fill up quickly. For those planning to sit outside, call the restaurant and reserve an outdoor spot. This way you will be guaranteed a table.

• Dress appropriately for the weather. Plan ahead for al fresco dining by bringing some accessories along. A light jacket or sweater can keep you warm if a breeze picks up, and sunglasses are recommended in sunny conditions. A hat worn indoors may be a social faux pas, but it is acceptable to wear one outside to block the sun.

• Expand your dining options. Instead of traditional restaurants, try the offerings at food trucks, take-out places and other spots that serve food. Set up your meal at nearby picnic tables or another outdoor place and enjoy.

• Bring a friend or relax by yourself. Eating outdoors is entertaining with a friend or alone. If you are dining with a group, take your time and linger in the fresh air, enjoying the conversation. If you are dining alone, you can still relax and take your time with the meal.

One hidden benefit of al fresco dining is that it provides you the opportunity to relax and watch the world go by.

 

Information to include on your wedding website

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Personal websites are an invaluable resource for couples planning their weddings. Wedding websites provide a great platform for couples to share all sorts of information regarding their big day, making them an essential element of modern-day wedding planning.

Wedding websites need not feature all the bells and whistles of more permanent sites. But while there are specific guidelines governing what to include on wedding websites, couples should be mindful to share certain information to ensure their guests stay in the know about the pending nuptials.

The participants
Wedding websites can be used to inform guests about the couple getting married as well as the various participants, such as the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Extended families of the bride- and groom-to-be may not know much about their loved one's betrothed, and the wedding website can help guests get to know both people getting married. Include information about the bridal party as well. A brief story about each bridal party member's relationship to the bride and/or groom can be a great way to illustrate just how much each person in the party means to the couple tying the knot.

The big day
Invitations were once the go-to source for information about couples' wedding ceremonies and receptions. But unlike invitations, websites won't get lost around the house or in the mail, making them more reliable resources for guests. Include all the pertinent details about the big day on your website, including the time and location of both the ceremony and the reception. Include directions to and from the venue (both the ceremony and reception venues if they will be held at separate locations), and include a Google maps feature if possible.

RSVP info
Save guests the trouble of returning RSVP cards by including an RSVP section on your website. Establish an email address solely for RSVPs, and check it regularly so you can update who is and who is not attending your wedding. Couples can save the expense of postage by requesting that guests RSVP exclusively through their websites. Just be sure to include that request with the invitations if you still plan to mail more traditional invites.

Accommodations
Many couples arrange for discounted hotel rooms for their out-of-town wedding guests. Include this information on your wedding website, and aim to include at least two hotels where guests can register under your party and receive discounted lodging. In addition to the hotels you arrange a deal with, include some extra information about other lodging options in the area. Out-of-town guests will appreciate having as many options as possible, and couples providing that information saves guests the trouble of researching certain neighborhoods to determine if they are safe or close to the ceremony and reception sites.

Registry
Wedding websites also provide a great way for couples to share registry information. Include links that take guests directly to your online registries.

Wedding websites are a great resource for couples who want to share information about their weddings. As the big day draws closer, couples can update their sites to reflect any new developments.

 

Recognize and prevent repetitive stress injuries

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Repetitive stress injuries, or RSIs, can impact muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Though The Mayo Clinic estimates that three million people in the United States are affected by such injuries, some may not fully understand just how they reached a point where they are suffering from an RSI.

RSIs are a condition that occurs when too much stress is placed on one part of the body, typically a joint, over and over again, resulting in inflammation and potential tissue damage. RSIs typically happen when a person repeats the same movements again and again. It comes as no surprise then that RSIs are commonly experienced by athletes and office workers.

The elderly are most affected by RSIs, but these types of injuries are also known to occur in younger adults and children. These injuries tend to develop over time and tend go unnoticed in their early stages.

Prevention is the best defense against RSIs. Start by using proper equipment at all times to help keep the body protected and in neutral positions. Such equipment may include support devices for wrists or knees, and shoes that fit well and provide ample support.

Athletes should make sure their gear is properly sized to their bodies. Using the wrong size tennis racket, for example, may contribute to elbow strain when serving and hitting. 

Proper nutrition also is key. Consuming the right foods is essential to developing and maintaining strong muscles, which help support joints in the body. Speak with a doctor or nutritionist if you suspect your diet has room for improvement.

RSIs can be troublesome for office workers. Maintaining neutral body positioning is the best defense against pain and injury, according to the pain prevention resource Tifaq.com. Tifaq.com suggests following these procedures in addition to stretching and exercising at the office:

• Keep your head level, forward facing and in line with your torso.

• Feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest.

• Shoulders can be relaxed and arms hanging normally at your sides. Your elbows should be at about 90-degree angles.

• Support your back with a lumbar support or a small pillow.

• Sit vertically or lean back slightly while at your desk.

• Keep frequently used items close by so you do not need to stretch.

• Position your monitor so it is directly in front of you and at eye level.

• Take frequent breaks to stretch or take a walk around the office.

Examples of RSIs include carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis, and trigger finger. Always consult with a doctor if pain from routine activities is persistent. Individuals may benefit from working with a physical therapist to learn strategies to avoid RSI activities.

 

How to spend more time outdoors

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Getting outside to enjoy the great outdoors can reduce the likelihood that a person will live a sedentary lifestyle that can negatively affect long-term health. But many adults are spending too much time indoors. 

In its 2014 OUT is IN national survey, the National Recreation and Park Association found that 28 percent of adults in the United States do not spend time outside daily. The survey, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of the NPRA, asked 1,005 adults to share their opinions and behaviors regarding outdoor time. While 35 percent of respondents said work was getting in the way of their spending time outdoors, 39 percent said their computers, tablets, smartphones, and televisions were keeping them indoors.

Though it might be difficult to cut back on hours at the office, adults do have the capacity to cut back on their screen time. Using that newfound free time to get outdoors can pay dividends for years to come, as the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability notes that the potential consequences of living a sedentary lifestyle are severe. According to the NCHPAD, one study indicated a 40 percent decrease in cancer mortality among physically active persons compared to those who were inactive. Physical activity also helps to prevent insulin resistance, which is the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes.

While you don't need to get outdoors to be physically active, men and women who find themselves bored by workouts at the gym or at home may be more likely to embrace physical activity if they can get their exercise outdoors. The following are three great ways to spend more time enjoying all that nature has to offer.

• Take up hiking. While some hiking trails are best left to seasoned hikers, many are built for hikers of all ages and abilities. Men and women who are overweight should not be intimidated by hiking, as even the simplest trails can help them get back on a healthy track. Men and women who incorporate hiking into their regular routines can lower their risk of heart disease and improve their blood pressure and blood sugar levels. The American Hiking Society also notes that research has shown that hiking can positively affect mood by helping to combat the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

• Ride a bike to work. Adults whose homes are in close proximity to their offices may want to try riding a bike to work instead of relying on their cars or mass transportation. Cycling improves cardiovascular fitness and increases muscle strength and flexibility. In addition, the stress-relieving properties of exercise can certainly be ascribed to cycling, which may even help adults prevent stressful episodes by relieving them of the burden of sitting in rush hour traffic.

• Grow your own foods. While the cost of fruits and vegetables may not be busting your monthly budget, growing your own fruits and vegetables is a cost-effective way to find more time for the great outdoors. In addition, a study from researchers in the Netherlands suggested that gardening is better for fighting stress than reading indoors.

Nature awaits, and adults should know that some playtime in the great outdoors is not just for kids.

 

Should schools reinforce cursive writing skills?

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Cursive writing lessons were once mandatory in schools. Many adults can remember cursive writing lessons on lined paper and time spent practicing this aesthetically appealing style of writing.

But thanks to technology and a growing reliance on computers to complete school assignments, handwriting skills are no longer stressed as much as they once were. In fact, some children never receive cursive writing instruction.

The absence of cursive writing lessons has led to a heated debate. Some people feel cursive writing is archaic and a waste of time, while others believe it is a relevant skill. Here is a look at both sides of the debate.

The pros of cursive writing
Various experts and educators have weighed in on the lasting benefits of cursive handwriting. Here are just a few of the benefits proponents of cursive writing point to.

• Cursive writing stimulates the brain. "Cursive writing helps train the brain to integrate visual and tactile information, and fine motor dexterity," Dr. William Klemm said in an article in Psychology Today. The skills developed from learning cursive writing cannot be replaced by using a keyboard. In addition, MRIs have revealed an interesting relationship between handwriting and the brain. The brains of people with good handwriting are more active in areas associated with cognition, language and executive function than the brains of those with poor handwriting.

• Cursive writing may promote focus. Writing things down by hand forces a person to slow down and formulate his or her thought. Handwritten notes may hold the advantage over computer-typed notes in terms of recollection of facts.

• Cursive writing may help students with dyslexia. Dyslexia is a language processing disorder that can hinder reading, writing, spelling and sometimes even speaking. According to the International Dyslexia Association, when writing cursive, the words jotted down become a unit, rather than a series of separate strokes, and that may contribute to better spelling. And since all lowercase cursive letters begin on the line, fewer of them are likely to be reversed.

The cons of cursive writing
There are various reasons why people think lessons in cursive writing are unnecessary.

• Cursive writing is only used in signatures. Cursive writing is seldom used except for signatures. Even then, e-signing and online transactions have removed the need to write in cursive.

• Typing on a keyboard should take precedence. Many parents and educators believe that cursive writing lessons do little to prepare young students for an increasingly digital world. Such opponents of cursive writing suggest keyboarding lessons should take precedence over teaching handwriting skills. Teachers have admitted that cursive writing lessons take a lot of time, and many simply cannot devote classroom time to them.

• Digital texts make it obsolete. Some argue that those who do not know how to read in cursive can never understand historical texts or early manuscripts. However, so much has been transcribed into digital texts that this argument is seen by many as outdated.

Cursive writing may be going the way of the dinosaur. But the debate about the value of cursive writing figures to continue.

 

Retreat for stroke survivors & supporters accepting registrations

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Cedar Rapids - Stroke is the number one cause of disability in the US. Emergency treatment within three hours is critical and can be life-saving. However, stroke survivors experience a wide range of lasting symptoms from slight to permanently debilitating. These effects can impact life - physically, emotionally and socially for survivors and their families.

The upcoming UnityPoint Health Stroke Survivor Retreat is a weekend getaway offered just for stroke survivors, and their supporters. The Stroke Retreat will be held August 26-27, 2016 at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids. It's sponsored by UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, and Quad Cities.

Stroke survivors and their supporters are invited to spend the weekend together participating in activities including: games, educational sessions, entertainment, pampering, discussion groups, crafts and more. The retreat is in its second year and the goal to provide an opportunity for stroke survivors and their supporters to get away, have fun and recharge.

Cost for the retreat is $20 per person. Hotel reservations are extra and the hotel deadline is August 5. The Retreat registration deadline is August 10. You can find out more information about the UnityPoint Health Stroke Survivor Retreat or register for this year's event at http://bit.ly/strokeretreat or call (319) 369-8877.

 

How to graft a favorite plant

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Plants can be propagated in various ways, including grafting. Grafting involves slicing off a piece from one plant and connecting it to another to create a new plant. Grafting can be an interesting hobby, and even novice gardeners can become skilled at grafting.

Grafting is actually botanical surgery. The grafted parts eventually grow together to form a single grafted plant, which will produce leaves, a stem, flowers or fruit on top known as a scion. The bottom part of the graft is known as the rootstock.

Production of grafted plants requires time, and grafting involves more than just propagating plants from seeds or cuttings. But the benefits of grafting include the propensity for grafted plants to flower or bear fruit more quickly than traditional plants. Grafting also can help a plant thrive, by selecting a root system adapted to a particular climate.

Grafting is particularly advantageous when one wants to produce a plant that is an exact duplicate of the parent plant. Planting from seeds can produce inconsistent results.
If grafting seems like something you want to try, consider the following tips.

• Seek help from experienced grafters. Many grafters work at nurseries or in the research field. If they're too busy to work with you, you can likely find a video online that can show you the proper techniques.

• Invest in a quality, sharp knife. According to horticulture expert and teacher Dr. Malcolm Manners, grafting requires very sharp cuts. The knife needs to be razor sharp for it to be effective. Dull knives and cuts can sabotage your grafting efforts.

• Do test cuts first. Before you decide to work on a plant, select a trial stem to practice on. This can give you a better feel for making smooth, precise cuts.

• Purchase high-quality rootstock plants. The rootstock plant is the plant that provides a root system and base. Rootstock is bred to have certain qualities, whether it's to put more plant energy into producing flowers or fruit or to be more durable.

• Choose compatible plants. Not every scion can be grafted on every rootstock. You likely will need a related species or genus for success. Speak with a horticulturist if you need assistance.

• Work quickly so that grafts do not dry out. As you become more experienced, this will be easier to do.

Grafting is a technique that can produce true plants and may help generate new but similar species. Plant lovers may want to give it a try and see if grafting is for them.

 

How to organize the pantry

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Since the advent of supermarkets and warehouse stores, many food shoppers have embraced buying in bulk. Buying in bulk can help shoppers save money and avoid last-minute trips to the grocery store in search of missing ingredients, but all those extra items also necessitate more careful pantry planning.

People already short on space may need to reorganize their pantries to make room for items purchased in bulk. Purging a pantry of expired items and developing an organizational strategy that works may take a little time. But once a system is in place, cooking and meal planning should become a lot easier.

1. Declutter
It's difficult to get organized if you're holding on to items you no longer use. Therefore, go through the pantry and find any expired foods and half-eaten items that have gravitated to the back of the cabinet or closet. After you go through everything, you will likely find that you have much more room than you once thought.

2. Empty the rest
Before placing items back in the pantry, take inventory of what you have. Getting them out in the open will enable you to see exactly what's there and get an idea of what you purchase the most. This will help you set up food zones or purchase containers that will fit your pantry better. If you have unspoiled foods that you are unlikely to eat, donate them to a food bank.

Now that the pantry is empty, take this opportunity to clean and adjust the shelves.

3. Downsize from bulky packaging
Bulky packages may not fit in your pantry. Invest in plastic or glass containers with lids that will keep foods visible, neat and fresh.

4. Establish food zones
Establishing food zones is a great way to organize a pantry and make meal time more efficient. Group breakfast foods together and store pastas and sauces near each other. Use a basket for baking items, including smaller spices or things like baking powder that can get lost in large cabinets. Then all you have to do is reach in and find something easily.

5. Keep a running inventory
Routinely look in the pantry to determine what you need. This prevents overspending on items you already have and also ensures your pantry won't grow cluttered with repeat items.

Organizing pantries may take a little time, but a little organization can open up a lot of space and make it easier to prepare meals each day.

 

How to equip a home kitchen knife collection

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Artists know the importance of having the right tools. While innate skill may be at the center of talent, brushes and paints can transform raw ability into something spectacular.

Tools play a significant role in the kitchen as well. Every chef - whether professional or amateur - needs certain tools. For many, that begins with a durable and effective set of knives. Slicing and chopping are an integral component of cooking, and good knives can help make meal prep that much easier.

Shopping for a new set of knives need not be difficult. Understanding the various types of knives available and their purposes can make the selection process less daunting.

• Start with the essentials. While there are many different types of knives, having at least four basic ones in your collection is a good start. Consumer Reports suggests that all cooks have a chef's knife, a paring knife, a slicer, and a utility knife. A utility knife is smaller than a chef's knife, but similar. In recent years, the Santuko knife, a Japanese style chef's knife, has become quite popular among home chefs because of its effective design and versatility, so you may be able to replace the chef's knife in your collection with a Santuko knife.

• Know your blade. Knives generally come in two blade construction types: stamped and forged. Stamped knives tend to be less expensive than forged, and forged are often the preferred choice for the professional because they can be better balanced. But it's possible to find quality knives of both types, and ones that offer the right combination of function and affordability.

• Try out the handles. While blades get much of the fanfare, handles are important components as well. It's important for chefs to find a material and handle shape that feels comfortable in their hands. Ask a salesperson if it's possible to feel the weight and fit of the knife prior to purchase.

• Consider open stock when buying. Rather than investing in a large, complete set, find a manufacturer that offers separately sold knives from a particular line, referred to as "open stock." Pick up at least one fine-edged knife so that intricate cuts will be that much easier.

• Care for the knives. It's one thing to invest in knives and another to care for them. Read over any care instructions prior to purchase. Let the salesperson know if you need easy-care knives that can go in the dishwasher. In addition, learn how to sharpen the knives, as dull knives are ineffective and can be a safety hazard.

Knives are a key component of meal preparation. Take the time to select and sample different knives to make an informed purchase.

 

Help plants survive sizzling summer heat

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Many people consider summer the most enjoyable time of year, as the summer sun and warm breezes make the season perfect for rest and relaxation. But the months of June, July and August, which are often characterized by rising temperatures and stifling humidity, can be tough to endure as well.

When summer heat becomes especially uncomfortable, humans can simply head indoors and beat the heat in air conditioned buildings and homes. Plant life is not so lucky, and homeowners may need to take steps to help the plant life on their properties survive the summer heat.

• Monitor soil moisture. Soil moisture, or a lack thereof, can help homeowners determine if their plants are struggling to survive the heat. To check soil moisture levels, use a ruler or even your finger, sticking either two inches into the ground where you suspect the soil is drying out. If the soil is damp two inches below the surface, then your plants are likely retaining enough moisture to withstand the heat. If the soil is dry two inches below, then you may want to give the soil a deep soak.

• Keep an eye on container gardens. Containers may have an especially difficult time staying moist in the summer heat. That's particularly true for containers that sit in direct sunlight. Water container gardens daily during summer heat waves, being sure to adhere to any local water restrictions.

• Lay down mulch. Mulch helps insulate and protect soil during summer, when soil can quickly dry out. When applied correctly (ideally before summer temperatures get too hot), mulch helps the soil conserve moisture and prevents weed growth. Weeds can rob soil of the water it needs to promote strong root systems, which can help plants get the nutrients they need to withstand summer heat. Mulched soils also do not experience the fluctuations in temperature that non-mulched soils can experience during summer heat waves, helping plants to grow evenly.

• Move plants when possible. Plant location can affect their chances of surviving summer heat. Driveways lined with flowers or other plants may look nice, but driveways exposed to the sun can radiate heat at temperatures that exceed the temperatures noted on the thermometer. If possible, move plants to locations on your property that are less exposed to the heat and/or less likely to be affected by the heat. Move container plants beneath trees on hot days, and consider summer heat waves before planting new flower beds.

Summer heat can be especially harmful to plant life. But homeowners can employ various strategies to protect the plant life on their properties when temperatures rise during the dog days of summer.

 

Did You Know?

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Solstices happen twice per year. The solstices mark the shortest and longest days of the year and when the sun is at its highest or lowest point in the noon sky.

The solstices occur in both June and December, and when you experience each solstice depends on which hemisphere you call home. People who reside in the northern hemisphere will experience the summer solstice in June while those in the southern hemisphere will experience the winter solstice at this time.

 

Ice cream truck history

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On a sweltering day, few things bring relief as immediately as a favorite frozen treat. The United States leads the world in ice cream consumption, with an average of 26 liters per person consumed per year.

Ice cream has been around for quite some time, and it is believed ancient Greeks ate a crude form of the dessert as early as the 5th century B.C.

While ice cream parlors, dessert shops and supermarket freezers are popular places to sample favorite flavors, ice cream also can be purchased from ice cream trucks.
The tinkling of the ice cream truck music box and the sight of that dessert haven on wheels is enough to send any child (and many adults) into sensory overload.

Some of the early precursors to the modern day ice cream truck were ice and ice cream sandwich carts that gained popularity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

Confectioner and visionary Harry Burt was instrumental in developing the ice cream truck. Burt invented ice cream novelties that could be enjoyed on a stick, including the Good Humor bar. Burt wanted an easy way to deliver the treat into the hands of hungry kids, so he commissioned refrigerator trucks and hired drivers who looked pristine and safe to deliver the treats to neighborhood children. To entice the youngsters outside, the drivers rang a bell so kids would investigate the noise. Eventually the bell and standard routes helped families know when to expect the ice cream man.

Early ice cream trucks may have sold prepackaged treats, but they eventually broadened their offerings. Some turned into mobile ice cream shops, offering soft-serve or hard ice cream in everything from sundaes to cones to shakes. 

Many ice cream truck businesses are independently-owned seasonal businesses. The trucks are seen when the first warm days arrive, and many can still be seen patrolling neighborhood streets into late fall.

 

Three Bridge Closures Planned This Summer

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Three bridge repair and maintenance projects will require road closures and detours on some busy Dubuque roads this summer. The first project, on Fremont Avenue, is scheduled to begin Wednesday, June 1.

Improvements will be made to the Fremont Avenue Bridge, Cedar Cross Road Bridge, and Old Mill Road Bridge. All three projects will involve bridge deck repairs to extend the life of the bridge and sidewalk settlement repairs. The Old Mill Road Bridge project includes the removal of eight water utility services and three sanitary sewer utility services.

The work will require that each bridge be closed and traffic detoured. Only one bridge will be closed at a time in an effort to minimize traffic disruptions. The Fremont Avenue Bridge project will be completed first and is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, June 1. That bridge closure is expected to last approximately three weeks. Southbound traffic will be detoured to Dodge Street, then Cedar Cross Road. Northbound traffic will be detoured to Kelly Lane, then Rockdale Road, and then South Grandview Avenue. A map of the detour is available at www.cityofdubuque.org/detours. Pedestrian traffic will be prohibited on the bridge while sidewalk repairs are made.

The Cedar Cross Road Bridge project will be completed second and is expected to require closure of the bridge for up to four weeks. That project will begin in mid-to-late June, after the Fremont Avenue Bridge is reopened. The detour for the Cedar Cross Road closure will have southbound traffic detoured to Dodge Street and then Fremont Avenue. Northbound traffic will be detoured to Crescent Ridge and then Dodge Street. The exact date of the closure will be announced when it is known. Pedestrian traffic will be prohibited on the bridge while sidewalk repairs are made.

The Old Mill Road Bridge project will be the last and will begin after the Cedar Cross Road Bridge is reopened, which is expected in mid-to-late July. Due to the utility and street replacement work involved in this project, its closure is expected to be five weeks. The proposed detour for this project has northbound traffic diverting to Rockdale Road, then S. Grandview Ave., then Dodge Street, and then Fremont Avenue. Conversely, southbound traffic will go from Kelly Lane to Fremont Avenue, to Dodge Street, to S. Grandview Ave., to Rockdale Road. The exact date of the closure will be announced when it is known.

All work on all three bridges is expected to be completed before school resumes on Aug. 23. For more information on these projects, please contact the City of Dubuque Engineering Department at 563-589-4270 or engineer@cityofdubuque.org.

Residents interested in receiving email and/or text notifications of street closures and detours are encouraged to visit www.cityofdubuque.org/notifyme to subscribe to the City's "Street Detour & Construction Alerts" Notify Me. All detour maps will be posted to www.cityofdubuque.org/detours.

 

UnityPoint Health® Finley Hospital Announces Two New Clinic Locations in Dubuque

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UnityPoint Health® Finley Hospital will be opening two new UnityPoint Clinics in Dubuque later this fall. According to a recent study by the American Medical Association, the Dubuque and Tri-State area have a primary care provider shortage. In fact, the data indicates a shortage of 19 primary care providers. 

To help meet the growing health care needs of the community, Finley Hospital will open UnityPoint Clinic - Family Medicine at 4170 Pennsylvania Avenue on August 1, 2016 with Kenneth Martin, MD.

In addition, Finley has announced plans to acquire Women's Wellness Center, also located at 4170 Pennsylvania Avenue. Women's Wellness Center will close on June 1 for a two month period while Finley makes equipment improvements and renovations. UnityPoint Clinic - Women's Health will open in the same location on August 1, 2016 with nurse practitioner Gretchen Hong, WHNP, AHNP.

Both clinics include exam rooms, radiology services as well as lab services.

"The mission of Finley has always been to improve the health of the people and the communities of the Tri-State area," explains David Brandon, president and CEO, Finley Hospital. "In order to meet our mission, Finley will continue to be a leader in providing the necessary health care services to meet our community needs. We are excited to open both UnityPoint Clinic - Family Medicine and Women's Health in Dubuque."

Women's Wellness Center has served a key niche in the community, focusing on women's health concerns for premenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal women and Finley is excited for the opportunity to continue to serve women in the Dubuque area.

"Women's Wellness Center has a history of providing excellent health care to women in the Dubuque community and Finley is excited to continue that tradition and provide enhanced resources to staff and patients," said Brandon.

Finley Hospital believes the opening of UnityPoint Clinic - Family Medicine and UnityPoint Clinic - Women's Health will result in the best outcomes for patients. Having an integrated hospital and clinic allows for complete care coordination.

An open house will be planned for both UnityPoint Clinics later this fall.

 

Dubuque County Fair Announces 2016 Main Stage Line-Up

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The Dubuque County Fair presented by 7G Distributing is continuing its success in bringing the nation's top music acts to the area.

On Saturday, July 30, the biggest party of the summer comes to the fair when KESHA headlines the mainstage show, with Xtreme 107.1 as the radio sponsor. Kesha has taken the world by storm since the release of her debut album Animal in 2010. That year, she was declared Billboard's Hot 100 Artist and her smash debut single "TiK ToK" was named Billboard's #1 Hot 100 Song, was the most played song of that year, and was the biggest-selling digital track in the world.

Kesha has had eight consecutive Top 10 hits including four #1 singles: "TiK ToK", "Your Love Is My Drug", "We R Who We R" and "Timber". "Timber," a collaboration with Pitbull, peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts, Top 40 charts, UK charts, European singles charts, and Spotify, was nominated for a Billboard Music Award for Top Rap Song, an MTV Video Music Award for Best Collaboration, and won the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Award for Best Collaboration.

Tickets are $45 for the festival area, $35 for reserved grandstand seating and $25 for general admissions grandstand seating. Tickets for Kesha go on sale at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, at the fair office, online at www.dbqfair.com, or by calling 563/588-1999.

On Friday, July 29, the fair will return to its country roots with FREE COUNTRY FRIDAY featuring JERROD NIEMANN, presented by Dubuque Bank & Trust. Thanks to this generous sponsorship, reserved grandstand and general admission tickets will be included with fair gate admission. Fans 21 and older wanting the best seats in the house can purchase tickets to the Bud Light VIP Party Zone for $20, which includes two drink tickets. WJOD is the radio sponsor for the show.

Niemann exploded onto the country scene with his chart-topping major-label debut Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury, which included the #1 smash hit and Platinum digital single "Lover, Lover" and the follow-up Top 5 single "What Do You Want." His follow-up album High Noon features "Drink to That All Night," which went to #6 on the Billboard Country charts.

Bud Light VIP Party Zone tickets go on sale, and free grandstand tickets can be reserved for Jerrod Niemann, beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, at the fair office, online at www.dbqfair.com, or by calling 563/588-1999.

"Musically and technically, Kesha's performance could very well be the biggest party we've ever had at the fair and it's definitely one not to miss," said Jamie Blum, general manager of the Dubuque County Fair. "Combined with country star Jerrod Niemann for free on Friday, this year's mainstage shows will be the best tickets in town."

The Dubuque County Fair is the largest and longest-running family entertainment event in the county. This year's 63rd annual event runs daily from July 26-31 with mainstage and grounds entertainment, one of the nation's top Midway carnival operators, the 4H barns and creative arts exhibits, fair food offerings (including the legendary lemonade) and more. To learn more about the fair, visit www.dbqfair.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.