Author Archive for Maeve Clark



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.

 

How to watch the eclipse online

by Maeve Clark on August 21st, 2017

eclipseHave you got the rainy days and Mondays blues? Couldn’t make a trip to see the total eclipse of the sun and now the inclement weather is going to cloud your partial viewing. You can still watch the eclipse in totality online.  And while you are waiting, take a trip back to 1979 with Walter Cronkite reporting on that wondrous celestial event.  Or come down to Meeting Room A at ICPL and watch with all your friends and neighbors.

Charlottesville – Confronting Racism in America

by Maeve Clark on August 18th, 2017

maeves-booksWhy Charlottesville and why now? There have been tweets and Facebook posts, news stories and magazine articles offering explanations, but for longer more reflective and scholarly works, you can turn to your library. The website Bustle published a list by Sadie Trombetta of 17 Books on Race Every White Person Needs to Read. The library has almost all of the books on the list and multiple titles of many. It isn’t a new topic and more books will surely be written.

One of the most acclaimed books from the list, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by legal scholar Michelle Alexander, examines the legal structure of the courts, parole, probation and laws that effectively turn a perpetrator of a crime into a moral outlaw who is unworthy of rehabilitation. White rage : the unspoken truth of our racial divide by Carol Anderson, a professor of African-­American studies at Emory University, is the book Senator Al Franken selected when asked by the New York Times Book Review to name a book you wish all Americans would read right now.  Franken said, “There’s a book called White Rage by Carol Anderson about a history that most Americans don’t know: the history of oppression that African Americans have faced from the Civil War to the present day. If every American read it, maybe we could really begin to have a conversation about race in America.”

Richard Rothstein, a former columnist for the New York Times and a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, as well as a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, has written The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated AmericaListen to Terry Gross’s interview of Rothstein on Fresh Air. In Stamped from the Beginning: the Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America , assistant professor of African American history at the University of Florida, offers this history through chronologically arranged sections based on the lives of five figures from American history: socially and politically influential Puritan minister Cotton Mather; President Thomas Jefferson; prominent abolitionist and social reformer William Lloyd Garrison; civil rights activist and author W. E. B. Du Bois; and political activist and writer Angela Davis.

Claudia Rankine, winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize and chancellor of the Academy of American Poets 2014 work Citizen: an American Lyric recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media.  Slavery by another name : the re-enslavement of Black people in America from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon, Wall Street Journal bureau chief, is the groundbreaking and disturbing account of a sordid chapter in American history, “the lease (essentially the sale), of convicts to “commercial interests” between the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th.

None of these books are easy reads and they shouldn’t be.

South to Kalona

by Maeve Clark on August 10th, 2017

south-to-kalonaA friend of mine posted this photo, which I have titled South to Kalona, on Facebook. It was so quintessentially Iowa that I asked her if I could share it and she agreed. She took the photo one afternoon driving from Iowa City south to Kalona on Highway One. When I asked her why she took the photo, she said she felt compelled to pull off the road when she came upon the perfectly lit cornfield. And I am glad she did. It was, at least to me, evocative of Grant Wood’s work, especially his paintings of Stone City and rural Jones County. If you would like to learn more about Grant Wood the library has many books of his paintings and other creative endeavors and several biographies.

hiking-iowa

If you are looking for a day trip to find your own perfect picture of Iowa, the library can help you plan your adventure. We have a number of items on Iowa travel. One of my favorites is Hiking Iowa by Elizabeth Hill. Other titles of interests to the Iowa tourist are Great Iowa Walks: 50 strolls, rambles, hikes, and treks by Lynn L. Walters and Take the next exit : new views of the Iowa landscape edited by Robert F. Sayre.

If you would like to learn more about how to take great photographs, , the library can help you. We have many books on photography, from the basics to advanced, from using an SLR camera, to your cellphone or even how to use a drone. We also have coffee-table books of famous photographers works as well. Let me issue you all a challenge – take a little trip before summer is over and take a photograph that captures Iowa for you. Then share it. Let’s celebrate the beauty of our state.

 

The Great Solar Eclipse of 2017!

by Maeve Clark on August 9th, 2017

Something very exciting will happen on Monday, August 21.  We will get to witness a solar eclipse.  While we aren’t in the path for the total eclipse, at 1:12:42 thnasa_eclipse_mape moon will obscure 92.3% of the sun.   I witnessed a total solar eclipse in 1980 while I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire, (Democratic Republic of Congo) and it was truly awe inspiring.  The day went black, the temperature dropped, the roosters crowed, the peafowl and other birds took to the trees.

There are hundreds of websites to find out information about this phenomenal astronomical event.   One of my favorite is from eclipseVOX.  It has a eclipse location function where you can type in your zip code and find out how much of the sun will be obscured.  NASA, of course, has excellent resources. NPR has run a couple of stories about the excitement around the eclipse including one on the first photograph taken of a solar eclipse.

The Children’s Department has programs on Sundays about the eclipse. On Monday, August 14 at 7 pm in Meeting Room A, Brent Studer, Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at Kirkwood Community College, will explain the circumstances under which eclipses occur and what you can do to be ready for the upcoming solar eclipse, the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States since 1979.   Join us on Monday, August 21 while we step outside the library to safely view the eclipse.  Another eclipse watching event will be hosted by the University of Iowa Sciences Library, the UI Museum of Natural History (Pentacrest Museums) and the UI Astronomy Club, on the Pentacrest lawns.

The library has books and videos galore for all ages on astronomy and the natural wonders of the sky.  Come learn more about the Great Solar Eclipse of 2017. We might just make an umbraphile out of you!

Yes or No on the Iowa City Community School District General Obligation Bond Issue? And don’t forget there is a school board election too

by Maeve Clark on August 7th, 2017

one-district-tri-color-shaded-snippedBond Issue. 60% required.

Shall the Board of Directors of the Iowa City Community School District in the County of Johnson, State of Iowa, be authorized to contract indebtedness and issue General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $191,525,000 to provide funds to address health, safety, and accessibility issues in all school buildings, including air conditioning all school buildings, reducing the use of temporary classroom structures in the District, addressing classroom, lunchroom, and gymnasium overcrowding, and dedicating rooms to art, music, prekindergarten, and science by constructing, furnishing and equipping a new building, constructing additions to and/or remodeling, repairing, and improving the school buildings remaining in the District’s Facilities Master Plan, as follows: Mann and Lincoln renovations, Liberty High athletic facilities construction and site improvements, new elementary school construction in North Liberty and site improvements, West High renovation, South East and North Central Junior High additions, Shimek renovation, City High addition and upgrades, Wood addition, Wickham upgrades, Garner and Northwest additions, Liberty High addition, Horn renovation, Kirkwood addition, Borlaug, Alexander, and Lemme additions, and Tate High addition and upgrades?
(Johnson County, Iowa Auditor)

The general obligation bond, the $191,525,000 bond, is the largest school bond issue ever proposed in Iowa history will be voted on September 12.   There are, as you can imagine, proponents and those opposing the vote.  The Auditor’s website is a good place to start for basic information.  The site lists all of the candidates and from Holly Hines of the Iowa City Press Citizen a list of upcoming forums.  The Auditor’s site links to the times and voting locations for the September 12 elections.  (Remember, there are fewer locations for school board and school bond votes than for general elections, so before you go to your regular location to vote, confirm the location.) The Iowa City Community School District’s website has a wealth of information on the general obligation bond.  There is a lot of information and it can be daunting to try to read and understand all of it.  I suggest starting with the three page G.O. Bond Quick Fact Guide.

Another source of information on the bond, and depending upon where you stand on the vote, you may not agree with the opinions espoused, are the websites for the two groups for or against the bond issue.  Vote No September 12 represents the opposition to the bond issue.  One Community One Bond represents  the proponents of the bond.  Each group also has a very active Facebook page and each links letters to the editor supporting their respective positions