Author Archive for Maeve Clark



2018 Primary Election Voting and Candidate Information

by Maeve Clark on May 29th, 2018

The 2018 primary election is Tuesday, June 5.  You can find out voter information including how to register,  where to vote early and much more at the Johnson County auditor’s website.   Voters can cast an absentee ballot in-person at the Johnson County Auditor’s office before any election. Ballots must be voted in the office, you cannot take a ballot home with you. In-person absentee voting is NOT available on election day at our office, voters will have to cast ballots at their polling place.   It is too late to request an absentee ballot to be sent by the mail.  The deadline for that request May 25, eleven days before the election.

If  you are interested in learning more about the candidates in the gubernatorial races, a number of news sources have website links to help you make an informed decision.  There is no Republican primary race for governor, Governor Kim Reynolds is the only candidate on the ballot.   There five candidates on the Democratic ballot (the list includes Nate Boulton who has withdrawn from the race) and two candidates running in the Libertarian primary.  The Des Moines Register  published profiles on the Democratic candidates on March 23.  You can watch the six candidates in a debate sponsored by Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press on May 16. Iowa Public Radio has profile for all of the contested gubernatorial races on the Iowa Politics siteLittle Village has a field guide to the Democratic contenders for the governor’s office with links to each of the candidates’ websites.

There is also a contested race for two Johnson County Board of Supervisors’ seats.  You can watch a forum sponsored by the Johnson County League of  Women Voters, an environmental forum sponsored by Environmental Advocates, 100 Grannies, Backyard Abundance, Climate Advocates, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Iowa City Area Group of the Sierra Club, a social justice forum sponsored by the Iowa City Federation of Labor and the Coalition for Racial Justice and a task force on aging forum sponsored by he Johnson County Task Force on Aging.

Facebook – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

by Maeve Clark on March 21st, 2018

Facebook is fun and a great way to share information and stay connected with friends and family. Right? Right. However, after the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal you might be ready to just say goodbye to Facebook.  Before you close your account, consider your options.  David Nield , writing for Gizmodo, walks you through steps on how to stay on Facebook but not share any more information than necessary.  Start by making your profile sparse, keep your activity to a minimum, disconnect from third-part apps, (those puzzles, games and quizzes), and continue to pay attention to your privacy settings.  Nield has links to even more ways to secure your Facebook account.

Gennie Gebhart , a research and advocacy writer on consumer privacy, surveillance, and security issues for  the Electronic Frontier Foundation, informs Facebook members how to control your privacy settings.  She also details how Cambridge Analytica was able to access more than 50 million Facebook users’ data in 2014.  The Guardian gives an even more sobering look at the Cambridge Analytica scandal in a piece by Paul Lewis on Sandy Parakilas, the platform operations manager at Facebook responsible for policing data breaches by third-party software developers between 2011 and 2012. Parkilas had repeatedly warned Facebook that its lax approach to data protection would leave users vulnerable.  And if you still want to go, Facebook details the steps to either deactivate or delete your account.

 

 

The Lunar Trifecta – A Super Blood Blue Moon Lunar Eclipse – where and when to watch

by Maeve Clark on January 30th, 2018

If you are an early morning skywatcher, you are in for a treat tomorrow.   Monday’s Trilobites column by  Nicolas St. Fleur in the New York Times details what will happen during this celestial event – “Lunar eclipses are not uncommon, but the coincidence of Wednesday’s blood moon with other astronomical events is what makes this event special. First, because it is a “blue moon” — that means it is the second full moon to occur in a month. Also, it is a supermoon, meaning it will be closer to the Earth than usual, ” According to Mr. Johnston.  a program executive at NASA””Midwesterners are a tad luckier as they will be able to see more of the event. For them, the moon enters the penumbra at 4:51 a.m. Central Time and starts to turn reddish around 6:15 a.m. Central Time. Between 6:15 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. local time will be the best chance for anyone living in the Midwest to see the spectacle before the sun rises.”   Johnston has been blogging about the moon for NASA since 2004

The best tip for anyone trying to see the eclipse is to get a clear view of the horizon and look in the west-northwest direction. “The farther west you are, the higher in the west-northwest the moon will appear, the darker the sky will be,” said Mr. Johnston, “and the longer you will be able to view the eclipse before sunrise and moonset.”  NASA will be streaming the lunar event at NASA.gov/live and has a lot of great information at it including a graphic that shows the cycle of the eclipse. If this post and the upcoming lunar trifecta has piqued your interest in the skywatching, the library has a wealth of books for all ages of readers.  We also have spectacular dvds to aid you in your understanding of the universe.

Climate Action Survey

by Maeve Clark on January 16th, 2018

People living and working in Iowa City are invited to participate in a community survey that will help provide direction for Iowa City’s first ever Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. The short survey asks participants for their thoughts and perspectives as the Iowa City community works toward creating a plan to reduce the City’s emissions reduction goals and also creating a more livable, equitable and resilient Iowa City. Iowa City’s Climate Action Committee formed in November 2017  and meets on a monthly basis. Learn more about the project at www.icgov.org/climateaction.

 

If you are interested in reading more about climate change, the library has many resources  If simplicity is a goal for 2018 we have many titles motivate you. One of my favorite new titles is The gentle art of Swedish death cleaning : how to free yourself and your family from a lifetime of clutter  with text and drawings by Margareta Magnusson.  Trying to reduce your carbon footprint, we also have books and dvds to help.  And if driving less is important, you can borrow books and magazines to read or listen to without leaving your home or workplace through Digital Johnson County.   If you are looking for inspiration on how to buy less, Ann Patchett  wrote recently in the New York Times about challenges of her year of no shopping.   Or listen to her interview with friend Elissa Kim on WBUR’s On Point.

 

 

Rick Hall – Rest In Peace – Making Music and Memories – Twenty Feet From Stardom and Muscle Shoals

by Maeve Clark on January 3rd, 2018

I awoke to the news that Rick Hall had died yesterday. Rick Hall was the music producer and songwriter behind the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. I learned about him while watching a fantastic documentary on Muscle Shoals,(see below), back in May of 2014.  If you haven’t seen Muscle Shoals, you should.  The library also owns the sound track to the documentary and many other cds produced by the FAME Studio.  And just like back in 2014 – The Iowa City Public Library has a fantastic collection of documentaries. There are documentaries that will make you laugh, some that will make you weep, others that will make you angry. “Muscle Shoals” and “Twenty Feet from Stardom” made me sing out loud.

I really like to watch documentaries. Independent Lens, American Masters, POV are some of my favorite programs on PBS and the documentary track at film festivals is what I find myself not wanting to miss.  I don’t know that I can even explain why I like them so much, but I do and when I watch ones that are really good, I like to talk about them.  And I just watched two that were exceptional.

twenty feetThe first, “Twenty Feet From Stardom”, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2014.  Director Morgan Neville takes us inside the world of backup singers and gives voice to those who sing behind the stars.  Neville  interviews  backup singers Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Claudia Lennear,  Tata Vega and Lisa Fischer about what it was like to sing with artists such as Joe Cocker, David Bowie, Tina Turner and the Rolling Stones. The singers tell their stories through interviews and clips from five decades of recording history.

The second, “Muscle Shoals“,  explores the creative genius of Rick Hall, the founder of FAMEMuscle-Shoals11 Studios, one of two competing recording studios, (Muscle Shoals Sound is the other), in the small Alabama town of Muscle Shoals.  Songs recorded at FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound include “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Mustang Sally,” “Tell Mama,” “I’ll Take You There,” “Patches,” “I Never Loved A Man the Way That I Loved You,” “Brown Sugar,” “Kodachrome,” “Freebird,” “Mainstreet.”  Hall brought black and white musicians together in the segregated south beginning in 1961.  Through interviews with Hall and recording greats, first-time director Greg Camalier chronicles the sound that formed the backdrop of much of the last half-century.  Camalier weaves the beauty of the region with the magic of music made in this remote southern locale.

The Iowa City Public Library has a fantastic collection of documentaries. There are documentaries that will make you laugh, some that will make you weep, others that will make you angry. “Muscle Shoals” and “Twenty Feet from Stardom” made me sing out loud.

 

Great Iowa Treasure Hunt

by Maeve Clark on November 20th, 2017

FREE MONEY!!!! (Maybe) Every year Micheal Fitzgerald, State Treasurer of Iowa, publishes information about unclaimed property. It is called the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. I have never entered my name in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt because I couldn’t imagine I had unclaimed property. This year, for some reason, I entered my first and last name and the city where I reside and voila, there was a link to unclaimed property of under $100. (The unclaimed funds were from CenturyLink and must have been what was owed me when I canceled my landline.)

To claim my unclaimed funds I had to share more information with the Iowa State Treasury Department. This can be done online or, if you are concerned about security, by phone of mail. I threw caution to the wind and shared the required information and received a message stating that I would get an email with the next steps to follow.

An email from Iowa Unclaimed Property arrived almost immediately with the message that my claim was small enough that no further documentation was needed.  It further stated that in five to seven days I would receive a check for the grand total of $19.69.  My lucky day!  Take a look at the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt.  There might just be a treasure, big or small, waiting to be claimed by you.

Old School Voting – Voting on the Day of the Election

by Maeve Clark on November 6th, 2017

I am totally old school about voting.  I like to vote on the day of the election and say hey to all my neighbors.  However my election location, the old school of Longfellow, is undergoing a remodeling and having a much needed addition built. (Happy 100th birthday, Longfellow Elementary!)  So what to do?  The answer to my question can be easily found at the polling places section Johnson County Autitor’s website or by calling the Auditor’s Office at 319-356-6004.  My favorite tool at the website is the easy-to-use find your polling place option.  Just pop in your address and it returns all the information you need to know about where to vote, but it also lists your precinct number, the location of your polling site, the hours it is open, a sample ballot and the elected officials in your precinct.

If you have questions about voter’s registration, click on the link to voter’s registration.   And you can register to vote on the day of an election, but you must have identification with you and proof of residence.  The Iowa Secretary of State’s election day registration page outlines just what you need to bring with you to register on election day.

 

If you are looking for candidate information the Iowa City Press Citizen, the Gazette and the Daily Iowan all have links to each person’s website as well as their editorial endorsements.

Iowa Health Insurance Marketplace Renewal and Open Enrollment

by Maeve Clark on November 2nd, 2017

Open enrollment for Iowa’s Health Insurance Marketplace is health-care

November 1, 2017 – December 15, 2017.

Apply for and enroll in health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace at: www.HealthCare.gov
For help by phone, call the Help Center at 800-318-2596.
Open enrollment ends December 15, 2017. – DON’T WAIT – APPLY NOW!

If you need assistance in completing your enrollment there is help in Johnson County. Karen Wielert is a Certified Application Counselor and she can be reached by phone at 319-535-2679or by email at Johnsoncountycac17@gmail.com

If you need computer access Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, and Solon Public Libraries all offer free computer access.
In collaboration, Johnson County Public Health and Iowa City Free Medical Clinic are offering CAC (Certified Application Counselor) services to help people in the community complete enrollment and renewal applications.  Office hours are available at Johnson County Public Health, Iowa City Free Medical Clinic, and the local public libraries.

Coralville Public Library – meeting room B
Monday, November 20 (10am-4pm)
Friday, December 1 (10am-4pm)

North Liberty Public Library – meeting room A
Wednesday, November 29 (4-7pm)
Wednesday, December 13 (4-7pm)

Iowa City Public Library – meeting room C
Wednesday, November 15 (4-8pm)
Wednesday, December 6 (4-8pm)

Johnson County Public Health and Iowa City Free Medical Clinic
(Tuesdays and Thursdays during the day – call Karen for hours)

Don’t let language be a barrier. Ask for help at any access point.
Ne dejes que el idioma sea una barrera. Pida ayududa en cualqier punto de accesso.
Ne laissez pas que la langue soit un obstacle. Demandez de l’aide à tout point d’accès.

Heartbroken over Tom Petty’s death

by Maeve Clark on October 11th, 2017

I’ve always liked Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and thought someday I’d get to hear them live, but I waited too long.  His death last week at the tom-petty age of 66 came as a shock.  I wanted to learn more about Petty’s influence and found a fantastic DVD on his life at the library, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Runnin’ Down a Dream. The documentary, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, is long, nearly 4 and 1/2 hours, but so worth the investment.  It begins with his childhood in Gainesville, Florida and ends with the final stop on his 30th anniversary tour on September 21, 2006 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, University of Florida in Gainesville.  Petty was a phenomenal songwriter and performer.  It’s hard for me to name a favorite son;  maybe American Girl, or Southern Accent or Mary Jane’s Last Dance.  There are so very many great songs to choose from.

Tom Petty’s first band Mudcrutch,  formed in 1970 and broke up in 1975. In late 1975 the band moved from Florida to California and a new band, the Heartbreakers was formed including several of the original band members.  The documentary chronicles all of the iterations of the band from 1975 to 2006. It features interviews with George Harrison, Eddie Vedder,  Stevie Nicks, Dave Grohl, Jeff Lynne, Rick Rubin, Johnny Depp, Jackson Browne and Jimmy Iovine among others.  Petty embraced change. He was one of the first artists to make music videos for MTV.

800px-tom_petty_walk_of_fameTom Petty’s fight with his record company to retain the rights to his music is highlighted as are other principled stands he took such as holding firm on the price an album would cost. Petty’s solo career is also  featured as is the Heartbreakers’ tour with Bob Dylan. His time with the Traveling Wilburys is a focus of the film.   Runnin’ Down a Dream ends in 2006, but Tom Petty’s career didn’t.  To hear more of his music or to read about him, check the catalog, we have 11 Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker  cds and a selection of other cds where he sang and played guitar.

On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone to speak in Iowa City

by Maeve Clark on September 22nd, 2017

trouble-with-realityBrooke Gladstone,  WNYC’sbrooke On the Media‘s co-host, will kick off Iowa City Public Library’s Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival this Sunday.   Brooke will be joined by Lyle Muller, the executive director – editor of IowaWatch.org. Gladstone’s most recent book, “The trouble with reality : a rumination on moral panic in our time” is an brief but studied examination of current state of news and media.  She states that everyone is subjective and that even those serious consumer of the news needs to be aware of their biases, especially in this hyper-charged time.  It is even more important that we pay attention to what is said, written, viewed, posted and shared.  She cites Hannah Arendt, Walter Lippmann, Philip K. Dick and Jonathan Swift in showing that there is an art to persuading us that a lie is really the truth.

If you aren’t familiar with Brook Gladstone, On the Media airs on Iowa Public Radio on Sundays at 5 pm.  You can listen to past shows or stream an interview with Brooke Gladstone and Lulu Garcia Navarro discussing her book.

Please join us on Sunday, September 24 at 2 pm at the Englert Theatre.  Doors open at 1:30 and there is no cost to attend. Prairie Lights Bookstore is selling books and Brooke will sign books after the program.