Area Tidbits

Tips for safe use of dry ice and fog machines for Halloween fun

Who doesn’t want to add a dramatic effect to Halloween hijinks? Haunted displays can be taken up a notch with the use of some scene-setting enhancements, including dry ice and fog machines. Dry ice and fog machines can help Halloween revelers create a smoky, mysterious feel, but each of these haunting accessories must be used with safety in mind at all times.

Dry ice

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. Dry ice is often used for spooky effects because it produces a vapor when it sublimates from its dry form. This occurs after exposure to air and liquid that is warmer than the dry ice. Because the temperature of dry ice is extremely cold, (-109.3 F or -78.5 C), people can suffer from frostbite if they touch it, warns the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. People who intend to handle dry ice need to use tongs or protective gloves when doing so. Children may not understand the danger of dry ice, so they should never be allowed near it. Dry ice should be kept in an insulated cooler and stored and used in a well-ventilated area, as the CO gas can sink to low areas and replace oxygenated air. High concentrations of CO gas may be fatal when breathed in. If dry ice is used in drinks, it is important that no dry ice fragments are ingested, which can cause tissue damage as well as pressure from the buildup of the release of gas, states the information site ThoughtCo.

Fog machines

Fog machines can produce a scary and realistic Halloween tableau. When using fog machines, it is essential that users confirm which solution is being used to produce the fog. Many utilize a water and glycol solution that has been deemed safe if inhaled. However, some people may find it causes throat irritation. Some products use proprietary formulas, concealing the identity and proportion of ingredients. Users should avoid these products unless they can confirm which chemicals are being used and that those chemicals are safe. The Ontario Ministry of Labour says that fog/smoke generating machines should be placed in locations where exposure to the concentrated smoke is minimal. The machines also should be used exactly as the manufacturer directs and not altered by using dyes, fragrances and other chemicals. Fog machines can create many illusions, but they also can impede vision if the fog is too thick. Therefore, caution must be heeded to prevent mobility issues due to the fog. Also, sometimes fog machines can produce a slippery residue, so users should be aware of this and monitor conditions around the machines. Fog machines and dry ice can add flair to Halloween festivities if they are handled and used correctly.

 


 

Tips for making braces more comfortable

Many children and adults wear orthodontic braces. Braces can straighten teeth and improve bite health. While adults who wore braces years ago as youngsters likely recall being apprehensive about their appearance back then, thanks to advancements in braces technology, today’s orthodontic braces are less noticeable than braces of yesteryear. In addition, modern braces even feature more effective wires and brackets that can reduce the duration of treatment.
According to Harvard University Health, the science of orthodontics and braces involves placing constant pressure on teeth. The root then presses against the underlying alveolar bone, forcing a portion of the bone next to the root to dissolve, allowing the tooth to incrementally move into the direction it is pushed. After the tooth migrates, new bone will replace the spot where the tooth vacated.
Due to the pressure braces exert, it is common for people who wear braces to experience discomfort. Soreness and discomfort typically occurs when braces are initially put on the teeth and then after various appointments if adjustments are made. The brackets and wires of the braces also may rub the gums or irritate other areas inside the mouth.
Thankfully, there are ways to make wearing braces more comfortable.
• Check for comfort before leaving. During each orthodontist visit, use a finger or your tongue to check for any areas that are poking cheeks or rubbing gums. Bring this to the orthodontist’s attention so that wires can be clipped very short.
• Invest in orthodontic wax. Use the wax to cover up brackets or wires that are causing irritation. Over time, the mouth will get used to the braces and sore spots will not be as prominent.
• Use OTC pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relief products can alleviate soreness for a few hours until the mouth adjusts to the braces being placed or tightened.
• Enjoy soft foods. When teeth are sore, stick to soft foods. Smoothies, soups, stews, mashed potatoes, and yogurt are soft foods that won’t increase your pain.
• Follow the rules. Your orthodontist will recommend that you avoid certain foods that can damage or get caught in the braces. Eating these foods can make it even more uncomfortable to have braces on.
• Practice good hygiene. Braces create more crevices and spots where bacteria can accumulate, which could lead to dental caries. Be sure to floss and brush thoroughly to keep the teeth clean to avoid painful cavities.
Having braces means experiencing some discomfort along the way. However, pain and soreness can often be alleviated using a few simple strategies.

 


 

Dubuque Offers Multiple Leaf Disposal Options

Rakeout Appointments Begin October 21

The City of Dubuque is reminding residents of their options for leaf and yard debris disposal. The City encourages mulching, mowing, and backyard composting as economical and beneficial leaf management options but offers several other options for yard debris management.

As part of the City’s April-November collection service, leaves and other yard waste may be placed in: paper yard waste bags that display a single-use yard waste sticker; a rigid solid waste container with either a single-use yard waste sticker looped on the handle or a City 2019 annual yard waste decal; or in City yard debris tipper carts. Brush and limbs can be bundled with a City of Dubuque brush tie or twine and an attached single-use yard waste sticker.

Bags, containers, and bundles may not exceed 35 gallons in capacity or 40 pounds in weight. Plastic bags containing yard waste will NOT be collected.

Paper yard waste bags, single-use yard waste stickers, and brush ties are available in most grocery, hardware, and discount stores throughout the city. Single-use yard waste stickers are available at area retailers on sheets of five for $6.50. Brush ties cost $1.30 each.

Seasonal, regular-route yard waste collection ends Saturday, Nov. 30.

From December through March, Thursday collections of yard waste may be scheduled by calling (563) 589-4250 or submitting a request at www.cityofdubuque.org/yardwaste. Food scraps will also be collected on Thursday only for subscribed customers.

The Public Works Department also offers, by appointment only, leaf rake-out collections in which large, curbside leaf piles are vacuumed into a collection vehicle. Collection appointments must be scheduled in advance by calling (563) 589-4250 or submitting a request at www.cityofdubuque.org/yardwasteRake-out collections are offered from Monday, Oct. 21, through Wednesday, Nov. 27, this year. Appointments must be made before raking into a gutter area. Acceptable items in the leaf rake-out include loose leaves, pine needles, and pine cones. Grass, brush, plants, and rocks are not accepted.

Rake-out collection leaf piles should be placed in the street at the curb no sooner than the day before the scheduled appointment. Crews cannot enter private property or alleys to collect a leaf rake-out. Vehicles must not be parked on the street within 10 feet of the leaf pile. Utilities such as fire hydrants, utility boxes, or storm sewer catch basins should not be covered. A $20 minimum charge is added to a customer’s utility bill for a 40-bag equivalent rake-out pickup.

Residents are reminded that burning leaves and raking or blowing your leaves into the street are prohibited and subject to fines.

For more information, please contact the City of Dubuque Public Works Department at (563) 589-4250 or visit www.cityofdubuque.org/publicworks.

 


 

City Expo to Celebrate All-America City Award

The City of Dubuque’s City Expo 2019 event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 4-7 p.m. at the Five Flags Center, 405 Main St. This event is free and open to the public.

Every day, hundreds of city staff members proudly serve the residents of Dubuque, working hard to deliver excellent customer service and create a vibrant and sustainable city. City Expo is an opportunity for residents to visit with city staff and learn about programs, services, and community resources. Information and equipment from City departments and partner organizations will be on display.

Earlier in 2019, Dubuque was named an All-America City. This year’s theme was “Creating Healthy Communities.” In celebration of the award, there will be a special All-America City exhibit showcasing the many City departments and community partners whose work was featured in the winning application

Expo attendees can win door prizes by participating in an “Expo Passport” activity. Passport forms will be provided at the event and must be completed and submitted before leaving the event. Participants need not be present to win.

The following door prizes will be available to win at City Expo this year:
• Family summer swimming pool pass
• $50 credit for leisure services programs
• Foursome of golf, plus two carts, at Bunker Hill Golf Course
• Annual yard waste decals
• Yard waste stickers
• $50 gift cards to local grocery stores
• Youth and adult Jule bus passes

Informational materials and complimentary food will be available. For additional information on City Expo, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/expo or call 563-589-4151.

 


 

Fourth Annual Winter Iowa Senior Games to be Held in the Quad Cities

Sports and Events offered for Men and Women ages 50+

DAVENPORT, Iowa (October 4, 2019) – Nearly 250 athletes from around the Midwest are expected to compete in the fourth annual Winter Iowa Senior Games, presented by Health Alliance Medicare. Registration is now open for participants and volunteers.

Hosted by the Iowa Senior Games, this event has been held annually in February and will now be held December 12-15, 2019. Six sports are featured and competition will be held in both Iowa and Illinois. All men and women ages 50 and above are eligible to participate. Iowa residency is not required to compete.

“The Winter Iowa Senior Games allows us to bring the events to the participants” said Chuck Long, CEO and Executive Director of the Iowa Sports Foundation. “We’re excited to be back in the Quad Cities this December and we look forward to another great event.”

Sports include bowling, pickleball, swimming, table tennis, indoor tennis, and an indoor track and field meet. The public is encouraged to attend and cheer on the athletes. Admission is free.

Ten age groups (50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-85, 85-89, 90-94, and 95-99) are offered to men and women, allowing participants to compete against their peers. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the top 3 individuals in each age group event.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the events. Opportunities are available for individuals and groups. No sport-specific knowledge is required.

Registration is $30 through November 11, then $35 until the December 2 deadline.

For more information or to register, visit www.iowaseniorgames.org.

 


 

‘City Life’ Citizen Academy Welcoming Applicants for November Session

The City of Dubuque is welcoming applications from residents for the November session of City Life, Dubuque’s free “citizen academy” program designed to provide residents a hands-on connection with their local government.

City Life offers residents the opportunity to interact with City staff, learn more about city services and programs, participate in tours of City facilities, and learn about different opportunities to be involved in city government. There is no cost to participate. Space is limited to 25 participants. Applications are due by Monday, Oct. 28.

The City Life program consists of six sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (Nov. 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 25) with each session running from 6-9 p.m. Dinner is provided each evening and staff will strive to make accommodations for participants related to transportation, childcare, and/or language needs. The program will be offered again in the spring.

For more information and to apply for City Life, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/citylife, contact City of Dubuque Community Engagement Coordinator Temwa Phiri at 563-589-4180 or tphiri@cityofdubuque.org, or stop by the Human Rights Department office at 1300 Main Street.

 


 

Find relief from menopause symptoms

Menopause is a natural part of the female aging process. During menopause, a woman’s body, which was once primed for reproduction, is no longer able to produce children. Part of menopause is the cessation of menstruation. However, changes to one’s period is not the only signal that menopause has begun.

Menopause is a hormonal process that is different for just about every woman. The health and wellness resource Verywell Health advises that there are no hard and fast rules to menopause, and its start, duration and ending vary from woman to woman. For many, the transition will take around four years.

The symptoms women will experience are unique, but there are some that are relatively common. Addressing symptoms for comfort becomes a joint venture between women and their doctors.

Hot flashes
Hot flashes are known as vasomotor symptoms. They are often described as a sudden sensation of heat in the chest, face and head followed by flushing, perspiration and sometimes chills, advises Harvard Medical School. Up to 80 percent of women experience hot flashes during menopause.

The Mayo Clinic says that hormonal replacement therapy is an effective way to alleviate hot flashes. For those who can’t take hormones or prefer not to, low-dose antidepressants also may decrease menopausal hot flashes. Gabapentin for seizures and clonidine for high blood pressure are other drugs that may be used off-label for hot flashes.

Osteoporosis
Doctors may recommend medication or supplements to prevent or treat osteoporosis. A reduction in estrogen, which occurs during menopause, is directly related to a decrease in bone density. Hormone replacement may be effective, and vitamin D supplements may help as well. Women whose bone mass was less than ideal before menopause may find that they are at a greater risk for osteoporosis than those who had good bone mass.

Weight gain
Women who are in perimenopause or menopause may find that excess body fat develops, especially around the waist. Healthline advises that women may have to cut more calories and increase physical activity in order to combat weight gain. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps a person feel full and is low in calories.

Vaginal dryness
The Mayo Clinic says that estrogen can be administered directly to the vagina using a cream, tablet or ring. This can help relieve vaginal dryness. For those who prefer nonhormonal avenues, lubricants also can add moisture to make intercourse more comfortable.

It is important for women to be honest with their doctors about menopause symptoms. Together they can work out a plan of action that can include natural and medicinal remedies for common symptoms.

 


 

The safest place for kids in the car

Riding in a vehicle can be an exciting prospect for children. Such rides provide a chance to see the world outside of the house, and the speed with which scenery is flying by can be exhilarating for young minds.

Children are first introduced to riding in cars as babies, when child safety seats will keep them secure. Although laws vary depending on where people are driving, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children remain in a rear-facing car seat until age 2 or older.

As they get older and gain weight, children who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their seats should use a forward-facing seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer, says the AAP.

When children are old enough to graduate from car seat to booster seat to sitting in the car with only a seat belt, parents may wonder about where their youngsters can sit when riding in a vehicle. One area of the car tends to be safer than others for children. Researchers from the University of Buffalo who studied crash-related fatalities in relation to seat location discovered that the backseat is 59 to 86 percent safer than the front seat. What’s more, the middle seat in the back of the car is 25 percent safer than the window seats.

The science behind the study is that the middle seat offers the most distance from impact during a collision, or what the industry calls “the crumple zone.” The outer seats will be more affected, while the middle seat remains more insulated. However, the middle seat is only the safest when used with a full seat belt, rather than just a lap harness; otherwise, children should sit in the back where a full three-point seat belt is available, advises the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In addition, it can be tempting to cave under pressure and allow tweens to ride in the front of the car when they ask to do so or say that it is embarrassing to ride in back – since all of their friends are riding up front. The organization Safe Ride 4 Kids says studies show the safest place in the car for tweens is the back, until they are at least 13 years of age.

Riding in the middle seat in the back of the car is the safest place for passengers, including children. Parents and caregivers should keep safety in mind when kids are in the car.

 


 

5 ways to protect against hearing loss

A certain degree of hearing loss can be a normal part of the aging process. However, people who take steps to protect their hearing long before Father Time takes his toll can prevent the extreme hearing loss suffered by millions of seniors across the globe.

John’s Hopkins Medicine states that approximately 15 percent of adults aged 18 years and older report some difficulty hearing and up to 39 percent of adults in their sixties have hearing problems. Lost hearing cannot be restored, though hearing aids and other devices can help people with hearing loss hear better.

Hearing aids are not always an accessory people look forward to needing, so it’s good to know that a few simple strategies can protect people’s hearing over the long haul.

1. Get a baseline hearing exam. Speak with an audiologist, who can test your hearing and establish a baseline level against which future tests will be measured. This way it is easier to see if hearing loss is increasing over time.

2. Turn down the volume. Audio devices can contribute to hearing loss. Earbuds are particularly dangerous because they fit directly next to the eardrum. The World Health Organization says that 1.1 billion teens and young adults worldwide are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss from unsafe use of audio devices. Set the maximum volume on audio devices below 60 percent and wear headphones for no more than an hour a day. Keeping music low on other devices is also adviseable.

3. Wear protective gear. Protective gear includes ear plugs and protective earphones. This gear should be worn whenever you expect to encounter loud noises, such as when you mow the lawn, go hunting or shooting, attend rock concerts, or visit construction sites.

4. Limit use of cotton swabs. Ear wax is beneficial to the ears and can stop dust and other particles from entering the ear. Furthermore, using a cotton swab can potentially cause damage to sensitive organs in the ear if they are inserted too far or too roughly, advises the hearing testing service Ear-Q.

5. Avoid loud noises. Steer clear of fireworks, noisy city centers, loud performances, and other situations if you do not have hearing protection.

Remember, hearing loss often doesn’t produce immediate symptoms or pain. However, over time, hearing loss can become noticeable. A proactive approach can help people avoid significant hearing loss as they age.

 


 

Questions older drivers can ask themselves to see if it’s still safe to drive

Men and women know that adjustments must be made as they get older. Athletes nearing their golden years may not be able to push themselves as hard at the gym as they once did. Professionals nearing retirement age might not be able to pull long hours at the office like they used to.

But aging affects more than just work and play. As men and women age, their ability to perform everyday tasks, including driving, may diminish as well.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that, as people age, certain changes they experience can affect their ability to safely operate an automobile. Changes in eyesight, physical fitness and reflexes may require aging drivers to reassess their skills behind the wheel.

The NHTSA notes that drivers can ask themselves the following questions as they try to assess their driving abilities.

How is my eyesight?
The American Optometric Association notes that vision changes naturally occur as a person ages. Such changes do not necessarily mean drivers have to give up the keys to their vehicles. In fact, they may just require more routine eye examinations. The NHTSA says having trouble reading signs easily, recognizing someone from across the street, seeing streets signs and pedestrians, and handling headlight glare are common signs of age-related eye problems.

Can I control my vehicle?
Age-related loss of strength, coordination and flexibility can make it hard for aging men and women to control their vehicles. Some signs that drivers might be having trouble controlling their vehicles include trouble looking over shoulders to change lanes, difficulty moving foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal and difficulty turning the steering wheel. Pain in the knees, legs or ankles also can make it difficult for drivers to control their vehicles.

Does driving make me nervous, scared or overwhelmed?
Drivers who feel confused by traffic signs and traffic (including pedestrian traffic) should stop driving until they can discuss the issue with their physicians. Medication can sometimes make drivers feel sleepy or confused, and some aging drivers even find themselves overwhelmed in otherwise normal driving situations.

Are my loved ones concerned about my driving?
Aging drivers may feel offended when family members question their ability to drive. However, the NHTSA notes that sometimes other people notice things about a person’s driving that the person does not. The concern expressed by loved ones should not be taken lightly.

Do I drive with passengers?
Drivers who routinely drive with passengers, especially young children, carry extra responsibility. As a result, such drivers owe it to themselves and their passengers to honestly assess their driving abilities.

Various remedies can address age-related driving issues, and drivers should discuss them with their doctors the moment they feel as though their skills behind the wheel are starting to diminish.

 


 

Gluten intolerance is a very real issue with measurable symptoms

Gluten is not for everyone. In fact, people who have celiac disease shouldn’t eat gluten at all. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that affects the digestive process of the small intestine by launching an immune system attack against gluten, mistakenly damaging healthy cells lining the small intestine.

Even people who do not have celiac disease may find that consumption of gluten results in similar symptoms. These individuals may want to avoid gluten as well. Also known as non-celiac gluten intolerance or sensitivity, this condition is not currently well-defined within the medical community. The Celiac Disease Foundation says some people experience symptoms found in celiac disease, like foggy mind, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, bone or joint pain, or chronic fatigue when they have gluten in their diets – despite not testing positive for celiac disease.

In July 2016, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center published a study confirming that wheat exposure to those sensitive to wheat and gluten triggered a systemic immune reaction and intestinal cell damage. Researchers previously thought that a sensitivity to wheat or gluten would not result in cell damage. But research now confirms that even without a positive celiac disease diagnosis, people can experience symptoms that mimic those of celiac disease, even in terms of severity.

Doctors are not sure if gluten triggers the immune reaction in non-celiac cases, so more research is needed. That said, removing gluten and wheat products from one’s diet provides relief for many people.

According to Schär, a company that manufacturers gluten-free foods, anyone who experiences negative symptoms after eating foods that contain gluten should speak with a doctor. A doctor will order blood tests that will look for the presence of immunoglobulin E antibodies that are indicative of an autoimmune response to gluten. An endoscopy also may check for damage to the lining of the small intestines, as can a biopsy of the intestines. Other tests, such as a radioallergosorbent test, or RAST, or skin prick test can test for a wheat allergy to see if symptoms are stemming from that alone.

Treatment for gluten intolerance or celiac disease involves avoiding products that contain gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley.

A growing body of literature suggests that people who do not have celiac disease can still experience non-celiac gluten sensitivity and many of the same symptoms felt by those with the disease.

 


 

Halloween is a chance to celebrate whimsy and fantasy and have fun. Halloween is not complete without dressing up in costumes and taking on an alternate persona.

Many of the costumes people will covet this year involve the movie and television characters that have entertained the masses in the months leading up to October. With that in mind, these get-ups are poised to be plentiful as kids and adults begin their hunt for Halloween candy.

• Fortnite: Gamers of all ages still can’t get enough of the multiplayer game that exploded on the scene in 2017. Fans are still going strong and may want to emulate their favorite characters from the battle.

• Spiderman: Peter Parker’s European trip is put on hold when he agrees to help Nick Fury uncover some mysteries. The latest Spiderman was highly anticipated, so Halloween revelers likely can’t wait to spin their own webs and don the suit.

• Stranger Things: The incredibly popular Netflix series “Stranger Things” has sparked an entire subculture of fans. Now in its third season, viewers have immersed themselves in 1980s pop culture and the lives of the main characters. Whether they choose to go as a Demogorgon, Eleven, Dustin, Mike, or Will, the sci-fi show is sure to spawn some recognizeable costumes.

• Infinity War and Endgame: Marvel gave fans two action-packed movies featuring a slew of characters from the Marvel cinematic universe. Fans can pick among Thanos, Thor, Captain America, Doctor Strange, or any of their movie and comic book heroes for Halloween fun.

• Game of Thrones: Having recently finished its final season, “Game of Thrones” enjoyed a remarkable and wildly popular run. Based on George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, the show became one of the most popular programs on television, attracting legions of fans following the antics in the Seven Kingdoms. People can pull from costumes emulating popular characters from the series.

• Disney: With the release of live-action versions of some of their animated films, Disney fanatics may once again channel Aladdin, Simba, Jasmine, Dumbo, and more.

These are just a few of the costumes that are prime to be popular among Halloween tricksters this year.

 


 

Make the most of Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest dates back to 1810, when festivities commenced on October 12 to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. While the Crown Prince and his bride have long since passed away, Oktoberfest celebrations continue, and the standard-bearing party in Munich is annually among the world’s most anticipated events.

Those who can’t make it to Germany this October can rest assured that there is likely an Oktoberfest celebration in close proximity to their homes. Making the most of these celebrations can help revelers feel as if they’re in Munich after all.

• Celebrate with a group. Oktoberfest celebrations are social gatherings where the notion of “the more, the merrier” certainly applies. Many Oktoberfest celebrations are held outdoors, where celebrants sit at communal picnic tables when they aren’t hoisting steins filled with German beer or dancing up a storm as live music plays.

Celebrating with a group is not just fun, but also a lot safer than partying alone. Some traditional German beers generally contain more alcohol than other beers – making intoxication occur more quickly. Groups can resolve to look out for one another to ensure no one overdoes it with regard to alcohol.

• Resolve to try new cuisine. While beer might garner the bulk of the attention at Oktoberfest celebrations, food is just as big a part of the festivities. Celebrants who want to get a true Oktoberfest experience outside of Munich can try dishes such as Weisswurst, a type of sausage that is typically made from minced veal and pork back bacon. Schweinshaxe, a roasted ham hock sometimes referred to as “pork knuckle,” is a popular Bavarian dish that can make any Oktoberfest celebration more authentic.

• Get up and dance. Even celebrants who are unlikely to be mistaken for Fred and Ginger anytime soon recognize the important role music plays in Oktoberfest celebrations. While some may mistake it for polka, the music played at Oktoberfest celebrations is actually German oompah. Those skittish about stepping in may want to wait until they (and their friends and family also in attendance) have finished a stein before taking to the dance floor.

• Get home safe. Arrange transportation home before attending an Oktoberfest celebration. Such celebrations tend to be rowdy, and the lively spirit of the festival can make it easy for revelers to lose track of how many steins they have hoisted throughout the day. To ensure everyone arrives home safely, revelers can assign a designated driver from their group or arrange for a taxi or ridesharing service to take them to and from the festival so no one feels the need to get behind the wheel.

Oktoberfest is annually one of the world’s biggest parties, but celebrants need not go all the way to Munich to enjoy a raucous celebration.

 


 

Learn How to Establish Pollinator Habitat

Tour of Pollinator Habitat Sites

Trees Forever and partners are “creating a buzz” this fall through a series of field days and tours teaching the public about the needs of pollinators and establishing high quality pollinator habitat.

Online registration:
http://www.treesforever.org/CreatingaBuzzBelmond

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (registration at 3:30)
2015 100th St., Belmond IA 50421

Saturday, October 26, 2019, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (registration at 2:30)
Walker Homestead Farm and Winery
3867 James Avenue Southwest, Iowa City

“It takes years to establish high quality pollinator habitat,” said Tree Forever Field Coordinator Emily Swihart. “If you plant it and forget about it, you’ll have a patch of weeds and invasive plants. We set this series up to show people what to expect every year of the process, so you can enjoy colorful and healthy pollinator habitat in a few years.”

“During each tour, we’ll show multiple plantings.” said Field Coordinator Jeff Jensen with Trees Forever. “The sites we’ve selected are a great representation of what a farmer, homeowner, or concerned citizen could expect with their own planting. We always like to have some time for native plant identification so this will be a chance to hone your skills looking at the wide variety of native plants, and a few weeds.”

For more information, contact Jeff Jensen at jjensen@treesforever.org or via phone at 515-320-6756.

 


 

Reduce cold-weather fire risk

Plenty of things heat up when the temperature drops, including the risk for fire hazards. Fireplaces, stoves, heating systems, candles, and even electric lights are used more often during the winter than any other time of year, so it makes sense that the risk of home fires increases when the mercury drops.

The U.S. Fire Administration says 905 people die in winter home fires each year. Cooking is the leading cause of all home fires and contributes to around $2 billion in property loss each year. Understanding potential risks and exercising caution can help homeowners protect themselves, their families and their homes from fire.

Cooking
Home heating fires peak between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., when many people are home preparing dinner. The following steps, courtesy of the American Red Cross, can improve safety in the kitchen and reduce the likelihood of a home fire.

• Never leave cooking food unattended, as it can take just seconds for fires to ignite.

• Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove or other appliances that generate heat.

• Clean regularly to prevent grease buildup.

• Make sure appliances are turned off before leaving the room or going to bed.

Heating
The National Fire Protection Association warns that heating is the second leading cause of home fires, deaths and injuries in the United States. The NFPA offers these safety guidelines.

• Install heating appliances according to manufacturers’ instructions or have a professional do the installation.

• Fuel-burning equipment needs to vent to the outside.

• Never use an oven to heat a home.

• Keep anything that can burn away from heating equipment, including portable space heaters.

• Clean and inspect heating appliances regularly.

• Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.

Electric
The National Safety Council estimates that between 600 and 1,000 people die each year from electrocution. Electricity also can contribute to home fires. The Energy Education Council offers these safety suggestions.

• Never force plugs into outlets.

• Check that cords are not frayed or cracked. Do not run cords under carpets or place them in high-traffic areas.

• Use extension cords only on a temporary basis.

• Make sure light bulbs are the proper wattage for fixtures.

• Install ground fault circuit interrupters in kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, and elsewhere, making sure to test them regularly.

• Check periodically for loose wall receptacles and loose wires. Listen for popping or sizzling sounds behind walls.

Home fires are no joke and can be prevented with simple safety checks.

 


 

How to create a winter-friendly outdoor living space

For many homeowners, the arrival of fall and winter marks an end to time spent lounging and dining al fresco on the patio. But cold air does not necessarily mean patio furniture must be packed up until flowers bloom anew in spring.

In its 2017 Home Design Trends Survey, the American Institute of Architects found that consumers continue to emphasize practical features that expand the functionality of their homes via heavy investment in outdoor living spaces. The survey found that the popularity of outdoor living spaces increased by 72 percent between 2012 and 2017, highlighting just how much homeowners enjoy spending time outdoors.

By taking measures to make their outdoor living spaces winterproof, homeowners can enjoy these areas of their homes even more.

• Cover your deck. A covered deck may appear to make the space less enjoyable during spring and summer. However, covered decks can protect residents from the sun on especially hot days while also making the space more functional in winter. An overhead shelter on a deck can be outfitted with heaters (and fans to provide a cooling effect in summer) and allow residents to sit outside and watch snow fall without getting wet.

• Plant the right trees. Coniferous trees prevent wind, which can be especially harsh in winter. Homeowners who are unsure about which direction wind typically comes from can consult a landscape architect to determine where to plant the trees to ensure they’re most effective.

• Fire up the patio. A firepit or fireplace can warm up an outdoor living area, making such a space warm and cozy even on a cold winter night. A patio with a built-in firepit can cost a pretty penny, but such an addition can withstand winter weather better than a stand-alone firepit, which might be vulnerable to being tipped over by winter winds.

• Install lighting. The sun sets early in winter, so homeowners won’t be able to rely on natural light to illuminate their outdoor living spaces well into the evening like they do in summer. Heat lamps can be used to both warm and illuminate a space, serving dual, budget-friendly functions.

With the right adjustments, outdoor living spaces can be enjoyed throughout winter.

 


 

Oktoberfest began as something of a wedding reception

Beer lovers who also like to travel no doubt include attending Oktoberfest in Munich on their bucket lists. The annual festival in Munich begins in late September and lasts for 16 days, during which people from across the globe gather to celebrate Bavarian culture.

A wildly popular folk festival held annually just outside the city center of Munich, Oktoberfest is a joyous celebration that includes food, dancing, music, parades, and, of course, beer. Some observers may note that the Oktoberfest celebration, minus the parades, closely resembles a modern day wedding reception. And such an observation provides a clue as to the origins of Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest includes so much tradition that some revelers may feel as though it must trace its origins back many centuries. However, according to History.com, the original Oktoberfest took place in 1810. That festival was actually a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. To commemorate the couple’s marriage, the Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to celebrate with them during a nearly weeklong feast that included plenty of music, food and dancing. The fields where the celebrations took place were renamed the Theresienwiese in honor the new bride, though celebrants now refer to this area by the abbreviated name of “Wies’n.”

While both Prince Ludwig and his bride have long since passed away, each would no doubt take comfort knowing that their nuptials are still being celebrated today, more than 200 years after they tied the knot.

This year, Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich began on Saturday, September 21, and continue until Sunday, October 6.

 


 

5 ways to show grandparents and other seniors how much they’re appreciated

Grandparents and seniors can share wisdom and a lifetime of experience with the young people in their lives. Expressing gratitude for such lessons is a great way to show the seniors in your life, whether it’s a grandparent, mentor or family friend, how much they’re appreciated.

Some seniors live alone, while others may be living with their adult children and grandchildren, offering care and support to help make the household function.

Whether grandparents, aunts and uncles or older friends live close by or elsewhere, there are many ways for their loved ones to show them how much they’re appreciated.

1. Become pen pals. Seniors may have limited mobility or opportunities to get out of the house. Receiving mail is one way to connect with the outside world. Regularly send letters to a grandparent or other senior, sharing tales of daily life and key moments that will bring them joy. Chances are they’ll return the favor with a letter of their own.

2. Explore technology together. Younger generations can introduce seniors to available technology that can bring them closer. This may include digital assistants that enable them to share videos, tablets to send email or access social media, mobile phones for calling and texting, and anything else families can customize to their needs.

3. Offer companionship. Spending time with younger generations can motivate seniors to stay active and engaged. Have games and activities at the ready or simply provide a listening ear.

4. Shop and run errands. Help aging loved ones perform the tasks that they may not be able to tackle on their own. This can include picking up groceries or prescriptions or taking them to appointments. Simple work around the house, like doing laundry or light clean-up, also can be a big help.

5. Start a hobby together. Develop a hobby that seniors and young people can enjoy together. Watching classic movies, painting ceramics, going to sporting events, or gardening are just a few of the many hobbies that seniors can enjoy with their young loved ones.

There are many ways to bridge the generation gap and spend meaningful time with aging loved ones.

 


 

KEEP IOWA BEAUTIFUL ANNUAL PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

With Fall here it’s time to take a photo of your favorite place in Iowa and enter Keep Iowa Beautiful’s 10th Photography Contest aimed at raising awareness of Iowa’s rural and urban beauty. This photo contest offers both amateur and experienced photographers an opportunity to tell Iowa’s story in a fun, engaging way during your favorite season.

“This is a great way for Iowans to share what they admire about Iowa’s beauty,” said Kevin Techau, KIB Executive Director. “First place will receive $50, second place $40 and third $30. All three will receive a one-year subscription to Our Iowa magazine.”

The deadline is December 13, 2019 and entries must be submitted as high resolution JPEG electronically to bjackson@keepiowabeautiful.com. $5 entry fee, contest rules and payment can be made at https://www.keepiowabeautiful.com/photography-contest-entry/

Keep Iowa Beautiful empowers Iowans to bring cultural and economic vitality into communities through improvement and enhancement programs. By working directly with Iowa communities, corporations and private citizens, KIB is building new citizen pride in caring for Iowa. KIB wants to learn what resonates with Iowans based on the photographs they share through this photography contest. Photos and winner’s names will be posted on the KIB website, Facebook and featured in the KIB Newsletter.

About Keep Iowa Beautiful
Keep Iowa Beautiful was established in 2000 by Co-Founders Robert D. Ray and Donald F. Lamberti becoming the 23rd State Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. It is a 501c3 charitable organization working with Iowa citizens, neighborhoods and communities in improving the vitality and cultural health of the state of Iowa. KIB is building stronger communities to develop sustainable futures. For additional information, visit www.keepiowabeautiful.com.

 


 

Phase One of Eagle Point Park Environmental Restoration Plan Begins

Phase one of the environmental restoration planned at Eagle Point Park will begin this month. The project involves implementation of the park’s 2017 Environmental Restoration Management Plan to address the park’s recreational and natural spaces that suffer the effects of severe erosion, invasive vegetation, and degraded natural habitats on the rolling, rugged terrain.

Phase one of the park’s environmental restoration work involves soil quality restoration and conversion of turf to native vegetation. In combination, these green infrastructure best management practices provide an effective strategy for reducing overall runoff and erosion and improving water quality downstream in the watersheds of Bee Branch Creek and the Mississippi River. They also will provide new nature-based recreation opportunities for park visitors, create habitat for wildlife, and foster sustainability.

This phase of the project will involve about 67 acres of the park and may include some vegetation clearing, invasive species removal, scrub brush removal, and tree removal. Most park facilities will remain open to public use throughout the project. Work is scheduled for completion next fall.

Phase one of the plan will be completed by Applied Ecological Services of Dubuque using state and federal funds under the guidance of the City’s consulting team led by Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. All this environmental work must be done within the context of the park’s rich cultural history. State funding for the project is provided by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources from the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) and State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. Federal funding is provided by the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Eagle Point Park is a 164-acre community park that opened in 1909 on Dubuque’s northeast side. The park is owned by the City of Dubuque and managed by the park division of the City’s leisure services department. The park overlooks the Mississippi River, providing a spectacular view of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

 


 

OVER 72,000 POUNDS COLLECTED AT MOBILE COLLECTION EVENTS

The Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency (DMASWA) recently conducted two special mobile collection events. Events were held at the Delaware County Fairgrounds and at Murphy Park in Dubuque.

A special collection event for household hazardous materials, tires and electronics waste was held in partnership with the Delaware County Solid Waste Disposal Commission on August 3rd. Over three hundred participants brought in 7,290 pounds of hazardous waste. In addition to the hazardous waste, 14,860 pounds of tires and 29,725 pounds of electronics were brought in for recycling.

A second special collection for household hazardous materials was held in Dubuque at Murphy Park on September 7th. Over two hundred participants brought in 8,925 pounds of hazardous waste and 12,091 pounds of latex paint.

The DMASWA offers ongoing free drop off for household hazardous materials at the Regional Collection Center located at the Landfill for Dubuque & Delaware County residents. Residents can bring in materials anytime between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Businesses need to call ahead for an appointment.

For further information on this and other Agency programs visit www.DMASWA.org or call 563-557-8220.

 


 

What to expect when adopting a shelter dog

Millions of dogs reside in shelters or in foster homes just waiting for someone to make them permanent members of their family. The ASPCA says there are nearly four million dogs in shelters across America. Bringing home a puppy or an older dog can be an exciting, selfless endeavor.

Shelter dogs have the capacity to be loving, devoted pets. Unfortunately, many such dogs have been dealt difficult hands, ending up in shelters through no fault of their own.
Prospective pup parents should be aware that there can be a transitional period as dogs acclimate to their new homes.

Understanding what to expect the first few weeks and months can be helpful.

• Creatures of habit: Dogs are creatures of habit and feel most comfortable when they know what to expect. Moving from a shelter into a home can be a big change. Shelter dogs will need time to understand the workings of a household. By remaining consistent and patient, dog owners can help their pooches acclimate to their new surroundings. Feed the dog at the same time and place each day. Take the dog for a walk the same time each day with the same route. Knowing what to expect can be calming for the dog.

• Housetraining regression: New puppies likely do not fully know the rules of housetraining, but even older dogs who may have been housetrained can regress in a new environment. Pet parents may have to go back to basics and reinforce housetraining lessons.

• Shyness and anxiety: It’s impossible to know what dogs went through before landing in a shelter. Shelter workers may have conducted certain tests, such as food aggression or resource guarding, but that only paints part of the picture. It will take time for the dog to trust and understand, and dogs may be timid and experience anxiety for a brief period. Some may even act out by exhibiting damaging behavior.

• Safe space: The experts at Hill’s Pets advise employing a crate that can serve as a den for the dog. It not only is an area that can keep the dog out of trouble as he or she learns the rules of the house, but it also can serve as a safe haven that is familiar and comforting.

• Training classes: Enroll in training classes so that the pup begins to learn commands. Obedience training also helps keep the animal safe.

• Vet care: Make an appointment to have the shelter dog checked over by a vet as soon as possible. This helps everyone get on a vaccination schedule and can pinpoint illnesses or behavior problems. Many shelter dogs have common communicable illnesses like kennel cough or worms that require prompt treatment.

Shelter dogs can become warm and loving pets with the right care and a little patience.

 


 

Interesting facts about fall

Weather is often the first indicator that the seasons are changing. For many people across the globe, the hot days of summer will soon be giving way to the more crisp days of fall.

For those who live in regions where summer only subtly gives way to fall or is seemingly gone before the end of August, the 2019 autumnal equinox occurs on September 23. That marks the official beginning of fall, also known as autumn.

In fact, that the season the follows summer seemingly goes by two different names is just one of many interesting facts about fall.

• A season by any other name … Fall is the term most often used to reference the season succeeding summer in the United States. But the season is referred to as “autumn” in other parts of the world, including Great Britain. Fall was once even known as “harvest” because of the harvest moon, which appears close to the autumnal equinox.

• The colors of fall foliage are actually present year-round. Fall is known for its colorful foliage. But the pigments responsible for those colors are actually present year-round. According to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, green, yellow and orange pigments are present year-round. However, during spring and summer, the leaves serve as factories where many foods necessary to help the tree grow are manufactured. That process takes place in the leaf in cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green color. This process ceases as hours of daylight decrease and temperatures drop. As a result, chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears and the vivid colors of fall foliage begin to appear.

• Squirrels have a (sophisticated) plan out there. Squirrels hiding food in autumn for the upcoming winter is a familiar sight. And squirrels are more organized than many people may know. Groundbreaking research released in 1991 found that, even when squirrels bury that stash of nuts closely to one another, they will each return to the precise location of their personal cache. Recent research also has shown that squirrels bury their stash based on certain traits, such as the type of nut being buried.

• Babies born in fall are more likely to see the century mark. Researchers at the University of Chicago studied more than 1,500 centenarians born in the United States between 1880 and 1895. They then compared birth and death information with those centenarians’ siblings and spouses so they could compare their early environment and genetic background and their adult environment. Their research found that most centenarians were born between September and November.

 


 

Avoid medication errors with these tips

Prescription medications are a necessity for many people. The American Academy of Family Physicians says that, each week, four out of five adults in the United States will use prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and/or various supplements. Approximately one-third of adults take five or more medications at the same time.

The potential for adverse drug events is elevated when people are taking multiple medications at one time. For example, mixing pills has the potential to cause serious injury or even death.

Doctors, patients and pharmacies must work together to ensure that medication is taken safely. One of the best ways to prevent errors with medications is for patients to take an active role in their health care management.

• Know your dose. Children are at an especially high risk for medication errors because they require different doses than adults, offers the Mayo Clinic. Adults of different weights who share medications can run into trouble as well. It is key to follow the dosing instructions, as even a minor error in regard to dosage can potentially cause a big problem.

• Follow up with your doctor. Certain medications can cause side effects that only can be noticed by lab testing, such as an impact to the liver. Doctors also may be under an obligation to follow up with patients taking psychological drugs to ensure the efficacy of treatment. Make sure you keep all follow-up appointments.

• Maintain a current list of meds. It is up to patients to share information with prescribing doctors regarding any and all products being taken to avoid harmful interactions. Using the same pharmacy for all prescriptions also is helpful.

• Be honest about height and weight. Medication labeling and package inserts typically use metric units to correlate dose to a person’s physical attributes. Individuals should know their information in metric measurements and be honest with themselves about what they weigh.

• Use medications correctly. It is important not to chew nonchewable pills or cut pills unless the pharmacist or doctor has said it is safe to do so. Accurate dosing also requires using the right spoon or syringe, not silverware. Store certain types of medications, such as eye drops and ear drops, separately so they’re not mistaken for one another.

These are just some of the ways to prevent medication errors. People can consult with their doctors and pharmacists for more assistance in staying safe.

 


 

Easy ways to clean up leaves

Autumn is marked by colorful foliage and plummeting temperatures. Once those leaves reach peak color, they fall from the branches and collect on lawns, necessitating cleanup projects. For homeowners with big yards, such a project can be tiring and time-consuming. However, there are ways to make leaf cleanup easier.

One of the easiest ways to clean up leaves is to reach for a lawn mower rather than a rake. The mower will cut leaves down to smaller sizes, creating an effective mulch that can add nutrients back into the lawn. Davey, a lawn and landscape solutions service, says that mowed leaves also can be collected in a mower bag and added to garden beds or compost piles.

For those who prefer manual raking, select a rake with tines that will not skewer the leaves in the process. Big rakes also can make faster work of gathering leaves into piles.

The home improvement resource The Family Handyman advocates for the use of a lawn sweeper. This is a manual device that has a rotating sweeping brush that gathers up lawn debris and leaves into an attached hopper bag. Like mowed leaves, the bag can be emptied into a compost pile or distributed where needed.

Raking leaves onto a large tarp is another option. Once it’s full, the tarp can be taken to the curb where many towns will collect the leaves seasonally. Otherwise, the tarp can be used as a funnel to put leaves into a gardening bag or another appropriate receptacle.

Leaf blowers remain a fast option for cleaning up yards, but they require electricity or gas and can be noisy. Still, they are a popular choice for large landscapes or when quick work needs to be made of leaf clean-up.

Leaves will fall in autumn, but luckily homeowners have various methods at their disposal to tame the mess.

 


 

How to make driving in inclement weather more safe

Impaired visibility can be a safety hazard while driving. Everything from sun glare to hail can affect a driver’s ability to see the road and navigate it effectively. Before drivers get behind the wheel, they should make note of their local forecast and make a plan for what to do if rain, snow or other conditions make it challenging to drive.

The International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences indicates that, based on an examination of crash test data conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the “likelihood of a crash increases during periods of low visibility, despite the tendency for less traffic and for lower speeds to prevail during these times.”

Drivers can take several steps to improve their visibility when driving in poor weather conditions.

• Inspect and change windshield wiper blades. Wipers are instrumental in clearing precipitation away from the windshield. If they’re not functioning properly, wipers cannot do their jobs. Drivers should replace their wipers at the first indication that they are no longer effective. In some conditions, wipers can freeze or stick. Drivers should then pull over and clean the wipers manually.

• Clear obstructions. Always make sure the windshield is clear before driving. This can include removing ice and snow in the winter and cleaning off mud or bug splatter in the spring and summer. Use the front and rear defrost if condensation fogs up windshields and windows.

• Slow down. Foul weather can reduce drivers’ ability to see far into the distance. Drivers should always drive slower in inclement weather in order to improve reaction time.

• Top off fluids. Always keep the windshield washer reservoir full and keep extra fluid in the trunk. In addition, look for a fluid that does not freeze in very cold temperatures.

• Learn how to drive in fog. Each year, more than 38,700 vehicle crashes occur in fog, states the Federal Highway Administration. Travelers Insurance recommends slowing down, staying focused and using regular headlights and not high beams when driving in fog.

• Go out only if necessary. In snowy or icy conditions, drive only if it’s absolutely necessary, as snow and ice can impair visibility and make roads slick, says AAA.

• Avoid driving at dusk and dawn. The human eye can have trouble adjusting to rapidly changing light and darkness conditions, which are common at dusk and dawn. If possible, drivers should make trips during the heart of the day, especially if poor lighting conditions typically make it difficult for them to drive.

Drivers can take steps to improve visibility when inclement weather makes roadways hard to navigate.

 


 

3 signs of sun-damaged skin

The summer sun beckons many people outdoors. Soaking up some rays on a warm summer day can be a great way to unwind and get a little color.

It’s not always easy to recognize signs of sun damage when spending time outdoors in the summer, especially for people who lay out in the sun hoping to get a tan. Such damage may be overlooked or more evident in the fall, when people begin spending more time indoors. But sun-damaged skin should not be taken lightly. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation notes that the vast majority of melanomas, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, are caused by the sun. The SCF even notes that one study from researchers in the United Kingdom found that 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to the ultraviolet, or UV, radiation from the sun.

Sun-damaged skin will not necessarily lead to skin cancer. However, the American Academy of Dermatology notes that sun damage can lead to skin cancer. Going outdoors without adequate protection makes skin vulnerable to sun-related damage. Learning to recognize three of the more common types of sun damage may compel people to visit their physicians and take potentially life-saving steps to prevent future damage.

1. Wrinkles
Wrinkles aren’t always a byproduct of aging. While the Mayo Clinic notes that skin becomes less elastic and more fragile as it ages, increasing the likelihood that wrinkles will develop, wrinkles also can indicate sun-damaged skin.

2. Age spots
According to the AAD, age spots, which are flat brown, gray or black spots on the skin, appear on areas of the body that are most often exposed to the sun, including the face and hands. The AAD notes that what looks like an age spot could actually be skin cancer. If any such spots are detected, men and women should see a board-certified dermatologist for a through skin exam.

3. Loose skin
Loose skin is sometimes a byproduct of aging, but it also can be indicative of sun damage. Various products claim to treat loose skin, but the AAD notes that facelift-like results likely won’t come from any product sold in a jar. For example, the AAD says results from skin-firming creams will be subtle at best. Products that contain a retinoid like retinol, which can help the body make more collagen, might produce minor results.

Sun-related skin damage can affect peoples’ appearance and even suggest the presence of something more serious, such as skin cancer. Learn more by visiting the American Academy of Dermatology at www.aad.org.

 


 

How to protect wood floors from inclement weather

Wood floors are a worthwhile investment that can improve the beauty and function of just about any room in a home. Even though wood floors are durable, and new protective treatments help seal out many of the things that may have damaged floors in the past, homeowners still need to prioritize protecting their hardwood floors.

Certain seasons of the year can be more harsh on wood floors than others. For example, seasons characterized by moisture and precipitation, particularly the early spring, winter and fall, can be hard on wood floors. The experts at ServiceMaster Clean say that cold, snowy days can damage wood floors, and Lumber Liquidators agrees that winter weather can be harsh on flooring.

Homeowners need not give up on hardwood if they live in an area that sees all four seasons. They just need to take a few steps to keep floors looking beautiful.

• Clean up the salt. Salt that keeps sidewalks and streets clear of snow and ice inadvertently gets tracked inside a home. Hard chunks of salt can scratch wood floors, and, if left to sit, that salt can eventually cause white marks and other stains. Routinely vacuuming and sweeping up salt is necessary to protect wood floors.

• Invest in shoe storage. Wet or snowy boots can create puddles around the house. Have a special mat or tray by the front door where wet shoes can be kept. A nice bench in the entryway makes it easy for residents and guests to remove their shoes until it’s time to go back outside.

• Use water-wicking mats. Homeowners will probably need a few extra mats around to tame errant drips and wipe shoes. Any entrance that might be used by people or pets should be protected. Try to avoid petroleum-based, rubber-backed mats, as they could discolor the wood floor.

• Control humidity indoors. Cold, dry air in a home can be problematic because the moisture in the wood can eventually evaporate into the air. The heat will suck that moisture from the flooring, causing it to shrink, creak and splinter and become more brittle. Think about investing in an in-line humidifier for the home’s HVAC system that can keep a moderate amount of humidity in the home. Hardwood floorboards are installed to accommodate minor temperature and humidity fluctuations. This is typically a range of between 60 and 80 degrees F with a relative humidity range of 35 to 55 percent, advises ServiceMaster.

• Use the right cleaning products. Avoid excessive water to clean wood floors, and select soaps that are specially designed for wood flooring. Consult with the flooring manufacturer for a list of detergents that are safe to use.

With proper care, hardwood flooring can survive rain, snow and cold weather.

 


 

Tailgating party tips

Tailgating involves hosting a gathering with friends or family from the back of a vehicle. This social gathering typically features an informal meal and refreshments. Tailgating usually occurs in the parking lot of a sports stadium, but it also is commonly seen preceding concerts or other large events.

Tailgating gets its name from the fact that people set up chairs around the rear of the vehicle, or actually sit on the tailgate itself. For many people, tailgating is a lifestyle, and they’ve honed their skills to deliver parking lot parties that are tough to rival.

With some advanced planning and know-how, anyone can throw a successful and memorable tailgate party. Follow these tips to get started.

• Create a mobile tailgating kit. Turn a toolbox into an essentials collection for tailgating. Fill a metal toolbox with necessary gear, such as barbecue basics, bottle openers, condiments, trash bags, zip-baggies, and paper towels. Then simply grab the toolbox and set out for the tailgate party location.

• Prep the night before. You’ll want to get the best spot in the lot, so do the bulk of the work the night before the event. Pre-chill beverages so they will stay at the right temperature in the cooler. Sort out recipe items and ensure that all the food staples are well secured and ready to put in the cooler. Pre-purchase ice so it’s ready to go.

• Pack smart. Store plates and silverware in a plastic bin with a lid. Dirty dishes and other soiled cooking tools can be kept securely inside and toted home for washing.

• Choose menu items wisely. Keep in mind that foods that are portable and eaten out of hand are best at tailgates. This limits the trash and how many utensils will need to be discarded or washed. Burgers, hot dogs, kabobs, sliders/sandwiches, and the like are ideal tailgate foods.

• Label coolers. Make sure guests know where to find the items they need. Label coolers to differentiate between beverages and other supplies. Freeze water bottles to use in place of ice in the coolers so that the cold water can be consumed as the bottles thaw.

• Create a warming oven. Coolers insulate warm or cold items. Grilled foods or foods cooked at home can be kept warm until eaten.

• Establish a washing station. A clean, rinsed out, spigot-style laundry detergent container can be transformed into a washing station.

The most important tip is to make sure others can find your location. Tie balloons to the car so that guests can spot it in the crowd. Then have fun before the game or concert.

 


 

How to stay calm and collected in traffic

Commuting long distances seems to be a fact of life for many professionals. The average American spends 50 minutes commuting to work, and the average worker in the United Kingdom spends roughly an hour, according to a study from the University of West England.

Researchers in England found that adding an additional 20 minutes of commuting per day has the same negative effect on job satisfaction as receiving a 19 percent pay cut. Commuters can sometimes control their commutes to prevent such dissatisfaction, but other times factors beyond their control may be adversely affecting commuters’ quality of life.

For example, researchers with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute determined that rush-hour commuters in the United States lose an average of 42 hours per year to traffic delays. On the nation’s 10 most gridlocked roads, that number doubles to 84 hours. That equates to three and a half days per year of sitting in traffic jams.

Spending time in traffic is no picnic, and it’s easy to get frazzled when doing so day in and day out. Following a few tips can help commuters keep their stress in check when traffic slows down.

• Leave plenty of time. Traffic can seem especially troublesome when you’re racing the clock to get somewhere on time. Feeling anxious about missing a meeting or arriving to work late only exacerbates commuting-related stress. Check traffic maps before heading out and leave ample time to get where you need to be.

• Keep audiobooks at the ready. Listening to an engaging story on the way to work can direct attention away from traffic. In fact, you may not mind traffic at all if you’re at a climactic point in the story.

• Cue up your favorite music playlists. Get lost in jams you love, as music can help soothe the stress of traffic.

• Explore alternate routes. In your spare time, figure out if there are less-traveled roads that can make a commute more predictable and enjoyable. While they may be slightly longer in mileage, moving along instead of being in stop-and-go traffic can be a relief.

• Smile even if you don’t feel like it. Psychology Today says that research suggests going through the motions of smiling may reduce the intensity of your body’s stress response, even while sitting in traffic.

• Take deep breaths. Practice mindful breathing exercises that can reduce tension.

Commuters contend with traffic jams every day, but there are various coping mechanisms that can relieve stress when stuck in gridlock.

 


 

Regulations for Placement of Political Signs

Election season is here with four Dubuque City Council positions on the Nov. 5 election ballot and two of those positions with primary elections on Oct. 8. As these campaigns get under way, the City of Dubuque is reminding candidates and residents of the regulations that govern placement of political signs.

The City of Dubuque’s Unified Development Code (UDC) regulates all exterior signage, including political signage, within the community. The UDC specifically exempts political signage from government regulation except that political signs cannot be placed in any public right-of-way or in visibility triangles (10 feet in each direction of a street corner).

In Dubuque’s residential districts, the property line is generally 10 feet back from the curb while the property line location in commercial districts varies. If a sign is inadvertently placed on the public right-of-way, the City’s Public Works Department may move the sign back on to your property and attach a green slip noting the violation.

If the City receives a complaint about a sign, City staff will inspect the sign to determine the actual right-of-way location, which might be more than 10 feet from the edge of the street or curb.

Also, political signs cannot be placed on objects in the right-of-way such as trees, utility poles, and medians.

Complete details, including diagrams, are available online at www.cityofdubuque.org/politicalsigns.

For more information or questions regarding the property line location for a specific address, please contact the City of Dubuque Planning Services Department at 563-589-4210 or planning@cityofdubuque.org.

 


 

Miller Riverview Park and Campground Open

The City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department has announced that Miller Riverview Park and Campground is now open for camping.

Staff has worked diligently to get the park open for the remainder of the season, weather permitting. Please note that, due to the prolonged flooding damage to the park this season, most sites do not have grass.

“We appreciate the patience of the public while we have worked to get the park open,” said City of Dubuque Park Division Manager Stephen Fehsal.

The park will remain open until the fourth Sunday in October (Oct. 27), weather permitting.

Reservations can be made online www.cityofdubuque.org/millerriverview.

For more information, please contact the City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department at 563-589-4263.

 


 

6 ways to keep an active puppy out of trouble

It is hard to resist the beckoning big eyes, soft fur and lovable kisses of a puppy. When that tail begins wagging, it can be easy to forget how much attention and work puppies require.

Puppies love to learn about the world and are naturally curious and energetic. Puppies also can become easily bored and mischievous if not given chances to expend their energy.

Puppies do not know what is right and wrong in their new environments and have to learn such lessons through trial and error, often getting into trouble along the way.

However, puppy owners can take steps to curb potentially troublesome behaviors.

1. Provide a lot of exercise. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog, offer many experts. The American Kennel Club says that puppy parents should speak with their vets and/or trainers about what is a reasonable amount of physical activity for their dogs. Activity to burn off excess energy is vital.

2. Offer mentally stimulating activities. Problem-solving toys and challenges can keep puppies focused on healthy skills that build cognition to exercise the brain. Hide-and-seek, fetch and food-reward games can be great ways to exercise puppies’ brains.

3. Keep an eye out. Puppies like to explore the world around them, and that can mean chewing, digging, soiling, and other negative behaviors. The advice site Daily Puppy recommends that owners watch their puppies and keep them in their sight as much as possible. Crating is an effective way to keep puppies out of trouble when owners cannot offer constant supervision. Crates can be safe havens when treated in the right manner.

4. Puppy-proof the home. Look around the house for possible hazards. Move trash into hard-to-reach areas, erect gates to block restricted spaces, address cords and other electrical hazards, and clear counters or tables of easy-to-reach food scraps.

5. Use positive reinforcement. Rewarding dogs when they do the right thing rather than punishing them when they behave badly helps puppies learn manners and how to become good members of the family, offers the AKC. Teaching is also a way to offer exercise and stimulate dogs’ minds.

6. Understand the breed. Some dogs are bred for their unique behaviors. For example, a bird dog like an English setter may seek out prey in the yard. Certain concessions may need to be made to keep puppies comfortable. Offering alternative activities that tie into this natural instinct also can work.

Keeping puppies out of trouble can take work, but as they become full-grown dogs, they will learn and negative behaviors will be abandoned.

 


 

Steps to take before leaving recyclables at the curb

Recycling will play a vital role in the future of the planet. As climate change continues to threaten the long-term health of the planet, the necessity to recycle and reuse only becomes more paramount.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, decomposing garbage, such as that which finds its way into landfills, generates methane. Methane is considerably more effective at trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide and contributes heavily to climate change. By recycling items rather than discarding them, people can play an active and effective role at combatting climate change. In addition, recycling helps cut back on the release of harmful greenhouse gases that are produced during the manufacturing process.

Community recycling programs have been around for decades in many communities, and these programs are only as effective as the people who recycle. Learning how to treat common recyclables before depositing them into designated recycling bins can help people ensure their efforts are having the impact they intended.

• Rinse jars, bottles and cans. Items that are not rinsed before they’re placed in recycling cans run the risk of contaminating everything within. While each community program is different, recycling bins deemed contaminated may be redirected to landfills. Residential Waste Systems, a Connecticut-based trash and recycling removal firm, recommends rinsing all jars, bottles and cans that contain visible residue before depositing them in the recycling bin.

• Learn which items can be recycled. Contact your local recycling firm for a list of items that can and cannot be recycled. Many people unknowingly deposit items that cannot be recycled into their recycling bins, potentially contaminating their bins and rendering them more likely to end up in a landfill than a recycling center. By contacting your recycling center in advance, you can reduce the risk that all your hard recycling work will be for naught.

• Inspect paper products. If various paper products are accepted by your local recycling center, you must still inspect them before placing them in your recycling bin. For example, a pizza box may be recyclable, but likely isn’t if it’s covered in grease. Inspect each potentially recyclable paper product to make sure there’s nothing present that might lead to it being designated as contaminated.

Recycling is a simple step many people can take to promote the long-term health of the planet.

 


 

National Philanthropy Day® 2019 Award Recipients

Each year, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Tri-State Chapter (AFPGTS) honors donors and volunteers whose gifts of time, expertise, and resources make a significant contribution to the success of the nonprofit agencies and institutions they serve.

Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has inspired global change and supported efforts that generated over $1 trillion. AFP’s nearly 30,000 individual and organizational members raise over $100 billion annually, equivalent to one-third of all charitable giving in North America and millions more around the world.

Since 1986, “National Philanthropy Day” has recognized the great contributions of philanthropy that enrich our world. This year the AFPGTS Chapter will honor those persons who demonstrate strong contributions to philanthropy in our community.

The National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon will be on Thursday, November 14, 2019. This luncheon provides a unique occasion to express publicly our appreciation to those who do so much to enhance philanthropic support in our community.

This year’s award recipients will be:

Outstanding Individual Philanthropist
Don and Wilma Sanders

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser
Mantea Schmid

Outstanding Philanthropic Organization
Premier Bank

Outstanding Professional Fundraiser
Dennis Rima

Judges’ Award
ECIA (East Central Intergovernmental Association)

The National Philanthropy Day® Awards Luncheon will be held on Thursday, November 14, at the Grand River Center. Registration begins at 11:15 and the event runs from 11:45 AM – 1:30 PM. Tickets are $40 and information on National Philanthropy Day® may be found online at http://afpgts.org and under Philanthropy Day.

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

 


 

Exhibit explores the creative process of best-selling author and artist Arthur Geisert; Features new book set in Elkader, Iowa

The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) will present two new exhibits this fall, highlighting the boundless imagination of celebrated children’s book author and artist Arthur Geisert and the paintings of artist Alec Egan.

Opening September 21, 2019 in the Falb Family Gallery on the museum’s second floor, Arthur Geisert: Tall and Not-So-Tall Tales will feature the original illustrations from Geisert’s latest work of fiction, “Pumpkin Island”, published by Enchanted Lion Books, along with illustrations from his 2013 book “Thunderstorm”.

The exhibit will bring the wondrous worlds of Geisert’s books to life with more than 60 hand-colored etchings – including one measuring more than 30 feet long- displayed alongside the artist’s drawings, videos, and hands-on activities for children and families. The exhibit continues through January 5, 2020.

Arthur Geisert is the author of more than two dozen books, three of which have been awarded The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award. Born in Texas and raised in Los Angeles, Geisert relocated to Bernard, Iowa in 2007 and today makes his home and studio in Elkader.

Through the generosity of several local families and the artist, DuMA acquired all of the artist’s prints, books and etching plates more than a decade ago-an archive that expands with each new publication.

The exhibit and related programs are sponsored by Dupaco Community Credit Union. Additional support comes from the James B. and Melita McDonough Foundation, Mosaic Lodge #125, and the Schoen Family Charitable Trust.

A variety of public programs and events are planned in conjunction with the exhibition; details about each event will be shared via the Museum’s Facebook and Instagram pages and at www.dbqart.com.

Alec Egan: The Living Room opened August 10, 2019 in the Kris Mozena McNamer Gallery. A reception for the exhibition is scheduled for Friday, September 6 from 5-8 pm in conjunction with the community-wide First Fridays series. The exhibit continues through October 20.

In addition, Egan will present a gallery talk on Saturday, September 7 at 1:30 pm. Admission to the talk is free.

California-based artist Alec Egan explores nostalgia and memory in his latest series of contemporary oil paintings. Motifs including books, flowers, architectural elements, and wallpaper designs-similar to those found in his grandparents’ home-repeat throughout the group of paintings in this exhibition.

Egan completed a Millwork Residency in Dubuque in 2015 and has participated in solo and group exhibits across the U.S. His work is represented in Los Angeles by Anat Ebgi Gallery.

The exhibition is sponsored by Trappist Caskets and Cottingham & Butler.

DuMA is located across from Washington Park in historic downtown Dubuque at 7th and Locust Streets. Museum hours are Tuesday-Friday 10:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M., Saturday & Sunday 1:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M. The museum is closed on Mondays. Daily admission rates are: $7 Adults, $6 seniors, and $3 College/University Students. The museum is free on Thursdays, and those 18 and younger receive free admission every day, thanks to Prudential Financial. Website: www.dbqart.com

 


 

The benefits of music instruction for young learners

Many children are introduced to music instruction at school. After being introduced to band, chorus and various instruments, students may be eager to explore music.

Young students are often introduced to the recorder or ukulele in the early grades and then given the opportunity to join primary bands as they move through elementary school and into middle school. Some children also may want to supplement school music lessons with private music tutors, who can provide more in-depth instruction.

Parents considering making a commitment to music instruction may find that kids benefit from being involved with music in many ways, some of which may be surprising.

• The New England Board of Higher Education says several studies show that consistent music education improves vocabulary and reading comprehension skills. Emerging evidence points to an area of the brain that controls both musical ability and language comprehension as being more closely related than previously thought.

• Music education may help young children learn words and how to pronounce them, as learning to play music enables them to process the many new sounds they hear from others.

• Researchers have discovered a strong relationship between participating in school arts and academic success as demonstrated by students’ grade point averages, according to the National Association for Music Education.

• The relationship between music and academic performance has been studied for decades. As far back as 1988, studies have been conducted about the benefits of music education. An analysis of data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 demonstrated a significant correlation between participation in school music groups and achievement in math and English. And a 1996 study published in Nature found first graders who participated in special music classes as part of an arts study program saw their reading skills and math proficiency increase dramatically.

• Introducing music lessons to young children can have profound effects on their social development. Music fosters greater trust and cooperation, as well as a sense of community and belonging.

• Another benefit of music education is it allows children to harness their creativity and express it in a healthy way.

• The music instruction company Music U says children with developmental disorders and mental health issues might be able to unlock their potential with music. Music therapy has been shown to affect significant change in children with autism-spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, attachment disorders, cerebral palsy, and more.

Music instruction both in and out of the classroom can be a benefit to young learners.

 


 

Q Sportsbook Now Open!

Place your bets at Dubuque’s first Sportsbook!

Q Sportsbook opened August 27. The Q Sportsbook is located in the newly renovated Q Sports Bar. The 4,200 square foot area features 47 TVs including a 165″ video wall so you won’t miss a second of the action. You won’t miss a game either with the NFL Sunday Ticket package, MLB Network and more!

Indulge in your favorite game day specials from the Q Sports Bar including your favorite sports bar staples, hot wings, burgers and pizzas. Q Sports Bar also offers a selection of 20 beers on tap. The new bar gives you access to high speed internet and USB charging ports.

The Q Sportsbook will be open 7 days a week for betting. Primary hours are: Monday-Friday from noon-10pm, Saturday from 10am-10pm and Sunday from 11am-10pm. Hours of operation are subject to change to accommodate patron needs and prime sporting events. Bets can also be placed 24/7 from one of our 12 sportsbetting kiosks available throughout the casino.

Q Sportsbook will accept wagers on college and professional sports.

Q Casino offers free valet parking, outstanding customer service and all of the gaming excitement you can handle!

See QCasinoAndHotel.com/sportsbook for rules and additional information

Q Casino is an entertainment and gaming complex located in Dubuque, Iowa. The casino is owned by the City of Dubuque, and operated by the non-profit Dubuque Racing Association, its license holder.

 


 

Prevent growth of mold/mildew in colder months

Mold and mildew are not only unsightly, but unhealthy. These fungi grow readily in damp areas and are found in the air breathed both indoors and outside. If left unaddressed, mold and mildew can threaten the health of a home’s inhabitants.

Mildew is a type of mold that remains relatively flush with the surface it grows on. Other molds can grow puffy in appearance. Molds serve the purpose of destroying organic materials, but in high amounts, these microorganisms can cause respiratory problems, sinus congestion, throat irritation, headaches, and other issues, particularly when mold grows unchecked indoors, says Better Homes and Gardens. As a result, it is essential to address mold before it becomes problematic.

According to Polygon, a drying technology and temporary climate solutions company, the wet season in winter is when molds often grow and expand. Mold can break down the integrity and strength of the surfaces where it grows.
Homeowners can employ the following strategies to prevent mold growth.

• Keep all surfaces clean, using proper cleaning products. Diluted bleach solutions are highly effective at killing microscopic fungi, viruses and bacteria.

• Reduce moisture and humidity by ensuring sufficient air circulation in rooms, particularly bathrooms and kitchens. An exhaust fan will help remove moisture quickly.

• Fabrics covered in mildew that can be laundered should be carefully removed and washed in chlorine bleach and hot water. An oxygen bleach product also can be effective.

• Invest in a dehumidifier that can reduce moisture in the home in problem areas, such as damp basements or garages.

• Fix plumbing leaks as soon as possible.

• Remove damp leaves and snow from areas around the foundation of the home. Ensure that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and can shuttle water away from the house effectively.

• Replace cracked or defective mortar in basements.

• Make sure all seals on windows and doors are not compromised and are in good working condition.

• Be sure an HVAC in-line humidifier is adjusted to the right setting and isn’t pumping too much moisture into the heated air; otherwise, the added humidity can contribute to mold.

• If there is a flood or water infiltrates a home in other ways, hire a professional service to help clean and dry the home effectively.

Mold and mildew are problematic, but with diligence they can be kept at bay.

 


 

Prepare your deck for winter

Homeowners often take steps to winterize the interior of their homes in the weeks before winter’s arrival, but such efforts should extend to the outside of a home as well.

Decks make for great gathering places when the weather permits. Decks are where many people spend their free time and eat their meals come spring and summer, when the temperatures climb and the sun sets well into the evening. But as summer turns to fall, homeowners must take measures to protect their decks from potentially harsh winter weather.

• Inspect the deck for problems. Decks tend to be used more often in summer than any other time of year. That makes fall and early winter an ideal time to inspect for wear and tear and any additional issues that may have cropped up throughout the summer. Damaged boards and loose handrails should be fixed before winter arrives, especially for homeowners who plan to use their decks in winter. Fixing such issues in winter and even into spring may be difficult thanks to harsh conditions, so make good use of the relatively calm autumn weather to fix any issues on the deck.

• Clear the deck of potted plants. Even homeowners who intend to use their decks in winter should remove potted plants from the deck in the fall. The home improvement experts at HGTV note that moisture can get trapped between deck boards and plastic, wood or ceramic containers in cold weather, and that can contribute to mildew, discoloration or decay.

• Store unnecessary furniture. Homeowners who like to sit on their decks in winter will no doubt want to leave some furniture out over the winter. But those with lots of furniture for entertaining guests can likely move the majority of that furniture into a garage or shed for the winter. HGTV notes that doing so will prevent the potential formation of blemishes on the deck that can result from inconsistent weathering.

• Remove snow, but do so carefully. Prolonged contact with snow and ice can damage a deck. As a result, homeowners should clear snow from their decks when accumulation is significant. HGTV recommends using a snow blower on the deck to avoid scarring. If a shovel must be used, push snow with the planks to reduce the risk of damaging the deck.

Homeowners who take steps to protect their decks throughout the winter months can ensure these popular areas are ready once entertaining season returns in the spring.

 


 

Why immunizations are important

Measles is not something that garnered much attention outside the medical community in recent decades. However, in 2019 a series of measles outbreaks put the spotlight back on this highly contagious infectious disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between January 1, 2019, and May 31, 2019, 981 individual cases of measles had been confirmed in 26 states in the United States. That marked the greatest numbers of measles cases reported in the U.S. since 1992. And the U.S. is not the only country in North America facing a measles problem, as the Public Health Agency of Canada reported that, as of mid-May, 54 cases of measles had been reported in the country in 2019. Perhaps most surprising, measles was declared eliminated in 2001, leading many to wonder what’s behind the sudden outbreaks so long after the disease had seemingly vanished.

The CDC reports that the majority of people who got measles in 2019 were unvaccinated. While measles was declared eliminated nearly 20 years ago in the United States, the CDC notes it’s still common in many parts of the world. When unvaccinated travelers visit countries where measles is still common, they can bring the disease with them, ultimately allowing it to spread in communities where large groups of people are unvaccinated.

Regardless of why people choose to avoid vaccinations, it’s important to note some of the reasons why health organizations like the CDC and the World Health Organization urge all children and adults to be immunized.

• Immunizations save lives. The CDC notes that advancements in medical science have made it possible for humans to protect themselves against more diseases than ever before. Once-fatal diseases have now been eliminated thanks to safe and effective vaccines.

• Immunizations protect loved ones. Some people cannot receive certain immunizations due to allergies, illness, weakened immune systems, or other factors. Such individuals are vulnerable to disease, and especially vulnerable if their loved ones who can be vaccinated do not receive their recommended immunizations.

• Immunizations save money. The human toll of failing to be immunized can be fatal, and the financial toll can be heavy, too. Children with vaccine-preventable diseases may not be allowed to enroll in certain schools or daycare facilities, forcing parents to make decisions that can affect their ability to earn a living. In addition, medical bills that result from long-term illnesses can be substantial. The majority of health insurance plans cover vaccines for adults and children at little or no cost, and even uninsured families can receive free or inexpensive vaccines through certain government programs.

Immunizations take only a few seconds to receive but can have a positive effect that lasts a lifetime.

 


 

Country Music Trailblazer Charley Pride Coming to Five Flags This Fall

The Five Flags Center, Dubuque’s entertainment destination, today announced that country music legend Charley Pride will bring his more than two dozen chart-topping hits to the Five Flags Center this fall. Pride will perform in the Five Flags Arena on Friday, October 18 in what is the only Iowa performance scheduled on his current tour.

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, June 7, at 10:00 AM through both the Five Flags box office and online at FiveFlagsCenter.com. Pricing levels have yet to be announced. Mr. Pride’s performance is presented by Dubuque-based Music N More.

Pride was country music’s first African-American superstar. He began pursuing music as a career later than most, releasing his first album at 32 years old. Before turning to music, Pride had tried to make it as a professional baseball player. He played in the Negro Leagues, then had stints in the farm systems of the Yankees, Reds, Angels, and Mets. He eventually settled in Montana, playing for a local semipro team. The squad’s manager learned of Pride’s singing ability, and paid him to perform prior to the team’s games.

Pride’s music career launched in the mid-1960s with the release of his album “The Pride of Country Music.” His first 13 singles all reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Country chart, including a string of six consecutive #1s. He achieved crossover success in 1971 with is signature hit “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” which reached the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100.

The industry quickly moved to acknowledge Pride’s success, with the Country Music Association awarding him both its Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year awards in 1971. Pride was the first black artist to win either honor. His success continued through the rest of the 1970s, when he recorded another 15 #1 singles. Six of the albums he released during the decade were certified gold for selling more than 100,000 copies.

Pride’s impact on country music began to be recognized in the 1990s. He became one of just three African-Americans to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1993. The following year, the Academy of Country Music honored him with its prestigious Pioneer Award. The honors continued into this century, with Pride’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. Pride was among the country legends involved in the recording of “Forever Country,” released to mark the 50th Country Music Association Awards. The song topped the Billboard Country chart and rose to #21 on the Hot 100. Mr. Pride could put on a nearly 90-minute long concert performing only his #1 hits.

Pride continues to entertain fans across the country, playing between 30 and 40 concerts each year, including frequent appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. His latest release, the album “Music in My Heart” continues his partnership with songwriter Billy Yates. The album has been called “unapologetically traditional country” and “a return to form” for Pride.

 


 

Establish a child/parent prom night agreement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• A curfew for returning home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

Weekly Ads

Click here to view ads as a list.